What is Britain's National Cyber Force?

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Thursday announced the formation of a National Cyber Force of government hackers to launch cyberattacks against criminals, terrorists and hostile states.

Reuters November 20, 2020 00:11:21 IST
What is Britain's National Cyber Force?

What is Britains National Cyber Force

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Thursday announced the formation of a National Cyber Force of government hackers to launch cyberattacks against criminals, terrorists and hostile states.

It is part of a pledge by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver the country's biggest military spending increase since the Cold War.

WHAT WILL IT DO?

The hacking unit, which has been operational since earlier this year, is made up of specialists from Britain's armed forces and GCHQ signals intelligence agency.

The National Cyber Force "brings together intelligence and defence capabilities to transform the UK's ability to contest adversaries in cyber space", said GCHQ Director Jeremy Fleming.

Officials declined to discuss specific targets or operations, but said the unit's work could include disrupting terrorist communication networks, taking down organised crime groups and disabling enemy weapons systems.

HOW DOES BRITAIN COMPARE TO OTHER POWERS?

The announcement formally confirms Britain's role as an offensive power in cyberspace.

Britain's position as a leading hacking power competing alongside the United States with countries including Russia, China and Iran has been long known but rarely acknowledged.

HOW HAS BRITAIN ACTED IN THE PAST IN CYBERSPACE?

In 2018, GCHQ revealed a series of attacks it had conducted against Islamic State, and former cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill said last month British hackers had previously targeted people in Russia.

But speaking at King's College London last week, Ciaran Martin, the former head of GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre, said Western countries should prioritise defensive measures over arming themselves in cyberspace.

"The case for cyber restraint is a hard-headed one," he said. "A more secure digital environment is the best guarantor of safety and security for Western countries in the digital age."

"We weaponise the Internet at our peril. We militarise the Internet at our peril."

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Giles Elgood)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.