London, 2nd November 2016: Wired: Over the next five years, the UK will increase its ability to launch cyberattacks against other countries and hacking groups, the Chancellor has confirmed.
Launching a cybersecurity plan that's due to last until 2021, Philip Hammond confirmed that UK security services would cause "damage, disruption or destruction" against those that attack the UK.
These "offensive" capabilities would include proactive cyberattacks as well as the ability to defend against incoming disruption attempts.
"Offensive cyber forms part of the full spectrum of capabilities we will develop to deter adversaries and to deny them opportunities to attack us, in both cyberspace and the physical sphere," the government's cyber strategy says.
The attacking tools being developed will be created through the National Offensive Cyber Programme, a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ. As a result, the Armed Forces will be able to "deploy offensive cyber capabilities as an integrated part of operations," the government's strategy says.
While Hammond did not explain what would be developed as part of the cyberattacks, this could be anything from malware exploits (installing keyloggers, tracking data, and causing disruption) to co-ordinated DDoS attacks. Although, due to the nature of national security it is unlikely to ever be made clear what is created and the situations it is used in.
The offensive cyberattack capabilities come as part of the wider cybersecurity strategy, which details how the government will spend a previously pledged £1.9 billion to improve security in the country. The plans were also introduced in the context of an increased attention on state-sponsored hacking and cyberattacks.
Wired - Read the full article here - The government pledges to 'damage, disrupt and destroy' cyberattackers who target the UK