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UK boasts of attacking and 'destroying' its enemies in cyberspace

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
General Patrick Sanders pictured here addressing a conference at the military think tank Royal United Services Institute

A senior British military officer has claimed his forces are dealing with 60 “significant” cyber attacks on a daily basis, likening it to a modern “Blitz”.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, who is commander of Strategic Command, claims the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and its assets are under “constant attack” in cyberspace.

According to General Sanders at least 10 of these daily attacks can be attributed to “hostile state actors”.  

Strategic Command plays a monitoring and to a lesser extent coordination role across the UK’s five military services, notably the classic sea, air and land forces in addition to the more recent space and cyber warfare services.

But the more interesting part of General Sanders’ discussion of cyber warfare issues centered around his claims on British offensive capabilities in this emerging domain.

According to both the Times and Sky News (September 26), Sanders claims the UK has developed cyber weapons to “degrade, disrupt and even destroy” the critical infrastructure and capabilities of nation-states opposed to UK foreign policy.

General Sanders admits that military personnel work closely with the civilian spy agency GCHQ (headquartered in Cheltenham) on “offensive and defensive cyber operations”.

While Sanders did not specify what types of targets could be attacked, it is commonly understood that “critical infrastructure” includes power grids, communication towers and other parts of a nation-state’s vital supplies and buildings.

General Sanders was apparently briefing journalists from a base near Bath which houses many of the military’s cyber specialists.

According to Sky News, the “high-security” facility houses “rows of computers manned by military and cyber specialists” and is tasked with tracking millions of “cyber events” on an annual basis.


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