Special Relationship 2.0: UK and US Work Together to Bolster Digital Defences

By Gerald Lynch on at

Spooks from the UK's GCHQ and MI5 spy centres will team up with their US counterparts from the NSA and FBI for a new "cyber-cell" to defend against online threats from hackers and terror groups.

The so-called "Special Relationship" between the UK and USA will enter the digital age, as members of the new special unit will run simulations to prepare for possible attacks against key financial institutions including the Bank of England and the many parties based on Wall Street.

"Just as we have worked with our closest ally, the US, to protect our people and our countries from traditional threats, so we must work together to defend ourselves from new threats like cyber-attacks," said Prime Minister David Cameron.

"This is an evolving threat which poses a real risk to our businesses and that’s why we’re taking our cooperation with the US to an unprecedented level. This is about pooling our effort so we stay one step ahead of those who seek to attack us."

The Sony hacks and recent Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris has lead Cameron and President Barack Obama to double-down on web-based threats and online communications networks used by terror cells, with top security analysts warning that UK businesses are facing potentially crippling hacks.

This latest security move follows an announcement from David Cameron pledging to ban encrypted messaging apps should his government be re-elected.

Image Credit: Cameron and Obama from Shutterstock