The UK is creating a new cyber strike force at a cost of up to £500 million (US $800 million), according to the Daily Mail.
The strike force will be built by the British military in conjunction with Government Communications Headquarters, and will form an offensive arm to complement Britain’s existing cyberwarfare defense infrastructure. Army physical fitness tests will be eased to allow qualified personnel to be recruited for cyberwarfare.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told the Daily Mail that “this is the new frontier of defence. For years, we have been building a defensive capability to protect ourselves against these cyber attacks. That is no longer enough. You deter people by having an offensive capability. We will build in Britain a cyber strike capability so we can strike back in cyber space against enemies who attack us, putting cyber alongside land, sea, air and space as a mainstream military activity. Our commanders can use cyber weapons alongside conventional weapons in future conflicts.”
The Daily Mail noted that Hammond announced the cyberoffensive force in the Ministry of Defence’s Pindar nuclear bunker below Whitehall.
“It is the first time any Defence Secretary has been photographed or interviewed there,” the newspaper said.