Cyber Defence Force
The UK is to create a new cyber unit to help defend national security, the defence secretary has announced.The Ministry of Defence is set to recruit hundreds of reservists as computer experts to work alongside regular forces in the creation of the new Joint Cyber Reserve Unit.
The new unit will also, if necessary, launch strikes in cyber space.
The role of the unit is to protect computer networks and safeguard vital data.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the "creation of the "Joint Cyber Unit (Reserve) will allow it to draw on individuals' talent, skills and expertise gained from their civilian experience to meet these threats".
"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 MoD said the recruitment of reservists will target regular personnel leaving the armed forces, current and former reservists with the required skills and civilians with the appropriate technological skills and knowledge.
Cyber attacks and crime have become more common in recent years.
In July the British intelligence agency, GCHQ, told the BBC the UK had seen about 70 sophisticated cyber espionage operations a month against government or industry networks.
You could be forgiven for thinking that I was producing an SF style blog today when in fact this article was published by the BBC and the quotes are from UK government ministers and staff. I don't know whether it is exciting or terrifying!
Doctor Who and the Cybermen
The really interesting stuff is the idea of cyber weapons. I'm sure that they won't be like the 'ray guns' carried by the Cybermen in Dr Who. But what form will they take? I suppose they will be some kind of 'virus' that will be designed to target hackers and cyber criminals and thus will shut down their operations. There are limitless possibilities but we will be able to say that the CDF is on the case!
From an SF writer's point of view it raises the question of 'what next'? SF was somewhat tame as I was growing up in the 60's and now science fact has surpassed anything imaginable in those days. Perhaps we need to concentrate our ideas on the development of thought transfer and telekinesis?
Cyber defence force
Chill view of science future
Weapons of the damned