Cyber Risk

Britain to create 2,000-strong cyber force to tackle Russia threat: Sky News

FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in front of the displayed cyber code in this illustration picture taken on March 1, 2017.REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration

(Reuters) - Britain is significantly increasing its ability to wage war in cyberspace with the creation of a new offensive cyber force of up to 2,000 personnel, Sky News reported on Thursday.

The new force which is expected to be announced soon would represent a near four-fold increase in manpower focused on offensive cyber operations, Sky said.

Made up of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) officials, military personnel and contractors, it looks set to receive more than 250 million pounds in funding, a source told Sky.

Sky also reported that a second source said that the figure would likely be higher.

The plan by the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ comes amid a growing cyber threat from Russia and after Britain used cyber weapons for the first time to fight Islamic State, Sky said.

Britain and Russia have been at loggerheads over many issues including an incident in Salisbury when London accused Moscow of poisoning a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with the nerve agent Novichok.

Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish