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Ex-Hackers Could Join UK Cyber Defence Force
Hackers that have previously been convicted for cybercrime offences could be recruited to a new cyber-security taskforce, the government has said.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) announced plans this week to employ some 400 cyber defence personnel to help in the fight against cybercrime in the UK. Speaking in relation to the story, Lieutenant Colonel Michael White told BBC Newsnight that the skills of hackers would outweigh any past misdemeanours.
“I think if they could get through the security process, then if they had that capability that we would like, then if the vetting authority was happy with that, why not?” he said.
“We're looking at capability development, rather than setting hard and fast rules about individual personality traits.”
According to The Guardian, hundreds of experts will be recruited as reservists and trained with the help of the Government Communications Headquarters’ (GCHQ) cyber unit. Asked on the same Newsnight programme whether the mass recruitment could include ex-hackers, defence secretary Philip Hammond said that it was possible.
“As a matter of policy, the armed forces don't necessarily exclude people who have criminal convictions,” he said. “Each individual case would be looked at on its merits. The conviction would be examined in terms of how long ago it was, how serious it was, what sort of sentence had followed. So I can't rule it out.”
The £500 million initiative is being organised by the Military of Defence and recruitment will begin this month.
Hiring hackers would certainly provide the UK with the expertise needed to protect itself against cybercrime. However, the idea that form cyber criminals may need to be recruited shows that there is a current lack of cyber-security experts and highlights how much pressure Britain is under to combat what is fast becoming the most dangerous threat on the planet.
Mr Hammond said that the initiative could be used to “deny an enemy the use of certain weapons systems.” Adding, “You might be able to do, by cyber intervention, something that today would be done by a bombing or missile attack.”
While mass recruitment of cyber experts will go far in helping Britain to protect itself from the digital crime, on a personal level it is important that you look out for yourself. The £500 million initiative from the MoD shows just how serious cybercrime is, which is why you should always be protected.
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To find out more about cloud web security and to discuss your security needs, contact the ITWiser team today on 01274 868924 or at info@ITwiser.co.uk.