London, May 24 (IANS) British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Jeremy Hunt has pledged to retaliate against alleged Russian cyber attacks with as much as 22 million pounds “kept” to be spent on enlarging an “offensive hacking” unit, the media has reported.
This comes amid reports of Russia plotting to interfere in the European elections by spreading fake news and hacking candidates’ websites.
“All in all, British rhetoric is growing about the nation being increasingly willing to actively hack and damage other countries’ cyber infrastructure in retaliation for attacks on our own, or allied, infrastructure.
“With the general thrust of recent defence and foreign policy being to push Britain as a countering ‘force for good’ against the traditional bogeyman of Russia, cyber warfare threats will be playing an increasingly larger role,” The Register reported on Thursday.
Hunt’s speech was the keynote of a NATO press conference, arranged for the “NATO Cyber Defence Pledge” conference.
UK Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced that a fresh 22 million pounds from the Ministry of Defence’s budget would be spent on enlarging existing “offensive cyber” units.
“Cyber enemies think they can act with impunity. We must show them they can’t. That we are ready to respond at a time and place of our choosing in any domain, not just the virtual world,” she said.