Britain’s “top female spy” has been nominated as head of National Cyber Force (NCF), the UK’s new cyber warfare agency, said to be inspired by US Cyber Command that hacked into systems controlling Iran's missiles in retaliation to Tehran shooting down a US drone.
“The specialist who will be running the NCF is not only the best woman cyber-spy in Britain, but the best offensive cyber-spy this country has. She is a highly experienced operator who is very well versed in military operations,” a Whitehall official told The Times.
The operative will run the NCF, a joint venture between Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) that will bring together intelligence and military hackers to form “Britain’s Special Air Services (SAS) of cyber-warfare.”
The NCF has a budget of £250 million and will conduct both proactive and retaliatory attacks against state and non-state actors accused of perpetrating cyberattacks on the UK and promoting "fake news" on social media, and shut down digital platforms used by terrorists and criminals.
The cyber warfare agency is scheduled for launch before the end of 2019, and be initially staffed by 500 hackers, which is hoped to increase to 3,000 by 2030.