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Hacking for the Queen

I see the British military is making a bid to get share of the spending on protecting the country from cyber-attack. I suppose the rationale is that it answers to the Ministry of Defence and it wants to defend the British against cyber-attack. I think it was Estonia or Latvia that was subject to a cyber-attack a couple of years back and in these days of computerisation, a lot of infrastructure and communications were knocked out. Now I’m not denying there are a lot of very smart people in the British military. Both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force depend on highly skilled technicians. So to a lesser extent does the Army. But the cutting edge for the Army is still young blokes who like, as a female Canadian armoured car turret gunner told me; like camping, shooting and heavy machinery. That kind of bloke is not usually that good with computers. And to be honest, the Navy and Air Force’s electronics expertise is not quite what is required to kibosh a cyber-attack either. The military’s interest in cyber-attack is down to money. Somehow I don’t think we are going to see a new unit called the 1st Queen’s Own Hackers at time soon. But generals, admirals and air marshals do want a share of the financial pie. The real wars that these guys fight are not in the Gulf or Afghanistan:-  they are in the carpeted corridors of Whitehall. The culture of Britain’s military does not encourage, or reward, out-of-the-box thinking. And it’s just that kind of thinking that’s going to fend off a cyber-attack. Or launching one. This kind of work is probably better done by a civilian agency.

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