The UK's Ministry of Defence wants to recruit an army of computer experts to serve as "cyber reservists" to defend national security.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the MoD will take on "hundreds" of IT wizards to work "at the cutting edge of the nation's cyber defences" at a cost of up to £500m. The tech talent will work with existing government IT security teams to protect critical infrastructure and data stores were the country to come under electronic attack.
Speaking at the annual Conservative Party conference this week, Hammond said Blighty was investing more and more of its defence budget in "cyber" capabilities.
"Last year our cyber defences blocked around 400,000 advanced malicious cyber threats against the government's secure internet alone, so the threat is real," he claimed, according to Reuters.
"But simply building cyber defences is not enough: as in other domains of warfare, we also have to deter. Britain will build a dedicated capability to counterattack in cyberspace and if necessary to strike in cyberspace."
He also told the Mail on Sunday that these cyber strikes could knock out enemy communications, planes, ships and nuclear and chemical weapons. He told the paper that "cyber weapons" could be used along with regular munitions in future conflicts.
The reserve forces will work with the Joint Cyber Units in Corsham and Cheltenham, as well as other units in the defence network and will be recruited from folks leaving the Armed Forces along with IT workers without military experience. ®