The UK is working on a new £500m 'cyber strike force' to help defend itself from cyber attacks and launch own advanced assaults against them.
As part of the programme, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will start recruiting several hundreds of computer experts, who would work together with regular forces in building up the new Joint Cyber Reserve Unit.
The UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was cited by the Mail as saying that creation of the Joint Cyber Unit (Reserve) would allow drawing on individuals' talent, skills and expertise gained from their civilian experience to meet such threats.
"This is the new frontier of defence. For years, we have been building a defensive capability to protect ourselves against these cyber attacks. That is no longer enough," Hammond said.
"You deter people by having an offensive capability. We will build in Britain a cyber strike capability so we can strike back in cyber space against enemies who attack us, putting cyber alongside land, sea, air and space as a mainstream military activity.
"Our commanders can use cyber weapons alongside conventional weapons in future conflicts."
The recruitment, which is planned to commence in October 2013, will mainly target normal personnel departing the armed forces, existing and ex-reservists with the required skills as well as civilians with the suitable technological skills and knowledge.
According to Hammond, the country already has a defensive cyber military unit to avoid cyber attacks from terrorists and others, while the latest move is aimed at developing an attack force together with spy chiefs at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
In early September, GCHQ launched a new code-breaking challenge to hire some best brains to help defend cyber security threats.
The UK has also set up its first civilian cyber security training camps at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham and Glasgow Caledonian University to boost amateurs' knowledge about cyber defence as well as build up their skills for a career in the industry.
Dr. Jarno Limnell, director of cyber security for Stonesoft, a McAfee Group Company, said:
"Cyber deterrence depends upon effective communication between a state and the entity it wishes to deter. Hammond needs to convince the UK's enemies that if its interests are threatened or the country is attacked in the cyber domain that it has the capability and capacity to do something about it.
"Hammond's revelation should not come as a surprise, nation-states world-wide are pouring huge resources into developing a range of defensive, offense and intelligence capabilities. Within the next couple of years the world will experience an increasing number of intentionally executed and demonstrated cyber-attacks resulting in militaristic and economic damage but also loss of civilian life. With ever-heightened awareness amongst the general public of the threats the UK is beginning to face, not just from other states but also rogue-factions, the development of offensive cyber-weapons will become fiercer and publicly more acceptable."