The UK National Cyber Force (NCF) is an offensive (cyberwarfare) agency jointly operated by the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ, avowed in November 2020 but assumed to have been in operation since April 2020.
National Offensive Cyber Programme
Mentioned in the 2016 Cyber Security Strategy:
- "Through our National Offensive Cyber Programme (NOCP), we have a dedicated capability to act in cyberspace and we will commit the resources to develop and improve this capability."
- "We will ensure that we have at our disposal appropriate offensive cyber capabilities that can be deployed at a time and place of our choosing, for both deterrence and operational purposes, in accordance with national and international law.
- "To do this, we will: invest in our NOCP – the partnership between the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ that is harnessing the skills and talents of both organisations to deliver the tools, techniques and tradecraft required; develop our ability to use offensive cyber tools; and develop the ability of our Armed Forces to deploy offensive cyber capabilities as an integrated part of operations, thereby enhancing the overall impact we can achieve through military action."
- part of Defence Cyber Programme ?
- Believed to be 500 officers, reported to be planned to increase to 2000, funded to £250 million.
National Cyber Force
National Cyber Force (NCF) was mentioned in new reports that a "top female spy" had been been made its head. A speech mentioning the National Cyber Force was made by the Defence Secretary in October 2019.
It is reported to have a budget of £76m for its first year of operations.
It was announced by the Prime Minister in March 2021 that it would in future be located in a cyber-corridor(?) in the north-west of England.
- Defence Cyber Programme
- Joint Cyber Reserve
- National Cyber Security Centre
- 77th Brigade
- Joint Force Cyber Group
- Cyber Security Strategy
- National Cyber Force Transforms country's cyber capabilities to protect UK, GOV.UK, 2020-11-19
- The UK created a secretive, elite hacking force. Here’s what it does, Wired UK, 2020-11-19
- Novichok attack: GCHQ’s reputation is its greatest weapon in secret battle, Times, 2018-09-07
- Intelligence and Security Committee, 2016-2017 Annual report
- Britain steps up cyber offensive with new £250m unit to take on Russia and terrorists, Telegraph, 2018-09-21
- Britain's top female spy is head of new 'online SAS': Oxbridge graduate who worked for GCHQ will run National Cyber Force of 3,000 hackers to combat digital threats to UK, Mail, 2019-09-08
- Defence Secretary Ben Wallace addresses the NATO Parliamentary Assembly 2019, GOV.UK, 2019-10-14
- UK is nearly ready to launch force to hit hostile countries with cyberattacks, Independent, 2020-01-10
- Integrated Review, Hansard, 2021-03-16
- Hansard, 2021-05-13