The United Kingdom's next generation of spies are former hackers who will protect cyberspace from foreign spies, thieves and terrorists. Alan West said the technology-savvy staff would join efforts to trace the source of - and prevent - cyber attacks on Britain's government, businesses and individuals. The country also will develop its capability to wage cyber warfare against the country's foes.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown announce the creation of the unit as part of an updated national security strategy, detailing Britain's response to global terrorism and emerging threats. West said British government systems had probably come under cyber attack but that he did not know of any specific cases where sensitive data had been lost.
Jonathan Evans, the head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5, has warned that China and Russia are using new technology to spy on Britain. British officials are concerned that some terrorist groups, including those linked to al-Qaida, are likely to soon develop the capability to use cyber warfare to attempt attacks on Western targets.
Of course having geeks as the first line of defence against foreign spies is always going to be problematic. Not only are they certain to fall for honeytraps, if they can stop giggling around girls long enough to be seduced, they can also be bought off with gadgets.