Operation Glowing Symphony was successful in taking down ISIS online presence. Though the results were out months back, a detailed report realised today gave deep insights about how US teams made it against ISIS and inability of US Cyber Command to hold the data captured in this ISIS hack.

The Secret Operation

This is an operation crafted in 2016 by then-president, Barack Obama. The Joint Task Force Ares, along with US Cyber Command was given responsibility for limiting and even eliminating the ISIS online operation. And after three long years, the US came up with a detailed explanation of how they did it.

US Cyber Command Eventually Failed to Store the Hacked Data from ISIS
Image by Wikipedia Commons

These redacted files are now made public through the Freedom of Information Act requests by the National Security Archive, a nonprofit group associated with George Washington University. An interesting thing to note after analysing the documents is the issues faced by the US team in performing the operation.

An Unexpected Storage Problem!

According to the report, the team faced several hurdles like the complex process for screening suspects, coordination with other coalition members and US government agencies, and most importantly, storage of data!

Though the team’s success in reaching the target, the US Cyber Command group eventually failed to store the vast amount of data that was being scraped from the operation. Michael Martelle, National Security Archive analyst said that,

“The assessment reveals that a key challenge to exploitation was storage of the data itself, an indication of the operation’s scope relative to USCYBERCOM’s capacity at the time.”

This eventually led the group to make a recommendation in its lengthy post report for the developing of new storage solutions for the future by US Cyber Command Development Group. And if you’re interested in having a look at how the US did this operation, you may look into National Security Archive where the report was classified into six documents.


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