Hackers to Serve the Queen

Great Britain has officially acknowledged it has begun building offensive cyber-weapons. So apart from a traditional gun, a British soldier will soon be armed with a virus toolbox to be used in case of a cyber threat. In an interview with The Guardian, armed forces minister Nick Harvey said that "action in cyberspace will form part of the future battlefield", and that he now regards cyber weapons as "an integral part of the country's armoury". He added that the consequences of a well planned, well executed attack against our digital infrastructure could be catastrophic. Yelena Balayeva continues.

For the first time ever London admits that it has been developing a program, its purpose being not only to repel hacker attacks but to launch an offensive in cyberspace too. It will be up to Prime Minister to decide on whether or not use cyber-weapons. The Guardian says that the Cabinet Office and the Cyber Security Operations Centre at GCHQ have taken the lead on the issue, with some participation on the side of the Ministry of Defence. The defence-cyber-operations group is headed by General Jonathan Shaw from the Parachute Regiment. 

Commenting on the issue, British media reminded the audiences of last year’s Stuxnet virus attack on Iran’s nuclear programme at Natanz. Tehran then blamed Israeli and American special task forces for the attack. Great Britain denied its involvement in the incident, saying it had fears of facing a similar attack as well.

Speaking during the Munich Security Conference in February the British Foreign Secretary announced that London had experienced a similar kind of cyber attack but did not elaborate on which object was affected. However, he then added that London was suspecting China. Last year the British government named cyber safety among the priorities and said $1 billion would be spent on cyber-weaponry. The announcement came two weeks after the US had unveiled their national strategy to secure cyber space.

Not quite long ago The Telgraph released the results of a survey conducted by the US web security firm McAfee which said that the international arms races had moved online. The survey was carried out following hacker attacks on the White House and the US Department of Homeland Securtiy in 2009. The report claims that the world leading web security firms admitted that now that five countries - Russia, US, France, Israel and China, had cyber weapon programmes, the global cyber arms race became real.

Experts say the warning should be taken seriously as the infrastructure of most developed nations is connected to the Internet and thus vulnerable to hackers.

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