Andy McNab has claimed that the government's move to recruit security experts in cyber warfare is a move that heralds 'common sense', adding that the employment of convicted hackers is a smart move.
At London's McAfee security summit today, guest keynote speaker McNab, who is now a bestselling author and military security specialist, said that cyber warfare is a critical 'standoff' weapon which, when utilised effectively, will 'save lives and save money'.
"Having a weapon that doesn't have to be overseas and can neutralise adversaries is the way forward," said McNab. "It's all about having less casualties."
The comments come as Britain says it is prepared to use the internet to strike computer attackers and enemy nations who launch cyberwarfare attacks on the UK's infrastructure and businesses.
Foreign secretary William Hague described how the United Kingdom is pouring an additional £650m into its cyber defences. The extra cash will be split between GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence, which has created its own cyberwarfare unit under the title of the UK Defence Cyber Operations Group.
Hague said: "We are trying to prevent an arms race in cyber space. Given that the internet changes every day and billions more people will have access to it over the coming years, the potential for that arms race to grow and go out of control is enormous.
"There is no 100% defence against this, just as there isn't against any other form of attack. We have to defend critical national infrastructure. We have to defend national security. We have to defend our entire commercial and economic system."