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Ministry of Defence unveils Joint Cyber Unit

Ministry of Defence unveils Joint Cyber Unit

The Ministry of Defence has pledged £500 million to the creation of a Joint Cyber Unit, bringing 'fifth domain' attack capabilities to the UK's armed forces.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that it is going ahead with plans to form a Joint Cyber Unit reserve force of hackers and crackers with a view to fighting future battles in what the defence secretary calls 'the fifth domain.'

The move by the MoD to treat the internet and other computer networks as a new battleground follows the 20th century's expansion of the three military domains - land, air and sea - to include space. This weekend, defence secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed 'now there's a fifth [military domain]: cyber.'

The MoD has released limited additional details regarding plans to form a Joint Cyber Unit reserve force of semi-civilians to respond to electronic threats over computer networks. The move was first announced in November 2011 as part of the UK Cyber Security Strategy, and further detailed in an update (PDF warning) from the cabinet office just over a year later.

'We are constantly examining new ways to harness and attract the talents of the cyber security specialists that are needed for critical areas of work,' the Cabinet Office claimed in its December 2012 update. 'To this end, the MoD is taking forward the development of a 'Cyber Reserve', allowing the Services to draw on the wider talent and skills of the nation in the cyber field. The exact composition is currently in development and a detailed announcement will follow in 2013.'

While we're still waiting for that detailed announcement, a few more facts have come to light from defence secretary Hammond. Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Hammond explained that a budget of up to £500 million is being put aside to create the Joint Cyber Unit force, which will be comprised of industry experts who will be exempt from the rigorous fitness training requirements of the traditional armed forces.

'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,' Hammond told the tabloid. 'You deter people by having an offensive capability. We will build in Britain a cyber strike capability so we can strike back in cyberspace 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.'

A recruitment drive for the cyber defence force is due to take place next month.

8 Comments

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Dave Lister 30th September 2013, 12:31 Quote
I've got a bad feeling about this.
PingCrosby 30th September 2013, 12:35 Quote
Ha, I used to play Bloodnet on the Amiga, I'll get round their Cyber defences
himaro101 30th September 2013, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PingCrosby
Ha, I used to play Bloodnet on the Amiga, I'll get round their Cyber defences

remember, according to every film with any form of hacking, there is always the backdoor command that will give you full control of any system!

But on a more serious note, it's a fact that the battles will be fought online as well as offline. you could shut down vast swathes of the UK if you wanted to and had the resources to do it.

I just worry that the powers will be abused.
adrock 30th September 2013, 14:26 Quote
This sounds like a bad movie. Like not even Asylum or SyFy, but straight to DVD, has that one old guy from an 80's TV show in it and some girl with a guest appearance in House as 'Girl with scissors through neck' as her only credit on imdb bad. It'd come out after a big budget movie called 'The Fifth Domain', and it's be called either 'The Sixth Domain' or 'Domain 5'.

can we have a poll for what should be added to that crest to represent space and 'cyber'. i'd like to nominate Dan Dare (the epitome of british space exploration and adventure), and Tim Berners Lee, stood either side of it.
Gareth Halfacree 30th September 2013, 16:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrock
can we have a poll for what should be added to that crest to represent space and 'cyber'. i'd like to nominate Dan Dare (the epitome of british space exploration and adventure), and Tim Berners Lee, stood either side of it.
I second the motion. Bonus points if they have the Mekon whizzing off at the top-right shouting "Damn you, Dan Dare!"
Nexxo 30th September 2013, 19:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by himaro101
remember, according to every film with any form of hacking, there is always the backdoor command that will give you full control of any system!
And remember: hacking involves 8-bit retro text graphics and rapid hammering on the keyboard --'cause the other side types fast too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by himaro101
I just worry that the powers will be abused.

Surely not?
Ghast 1st October 2013, 06:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by himaro101
I just worry that the powers will be abused.

Dear UK,

America here, too late.

**** our lives,
-Citizens (re: subjects)
John_T 1st October 2013, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrock

i'd like to nominate Dan Dare (the epitome of british space exploration and adventure), and Tim Berners Lee, stood either side of it.

Haha! I'm sure the libertarian Sir Tim Berners-Lee would love an entire offensive-warfare division associated with his face! :)

Anyway, if our military top-brass are anything like their cousins in the American military top-brass, (which I suspect many are) they'll probably just use the Star Trek symbol:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2421112/NSA-director-Keith-Alexander-modeled-secret-war-room-Star-Treks-Enterprise.html

"Live long and prosper people, (unless you're a commie or a fundamentalist of course...)."
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