Cyber warfare has become the 21st century frontline for the Armed Forces.
Now the UK has developed an offensive cyber weapon that could take out power grids and other pieces of critical infrastructure in an enemy state.
The British military alone receives around 1,800 cyber attacks a month - this figure does not include attacks on civilian infrastructure or financial institutions that also take place daily.
Speaking at the Defence Digital Operations HQ at MOD Corsham in Wiltshire, General Sir Patrick Sanders, who is the Commander of Strategic Command, said: "Cyber space has been a means for terrorist groups to push their propaganda, for Russians to interfere in our democratic processes.
"It’s there for Chinese misinformation and IP theft, for Iranian support to terrorist groups and aggressive use of the COVID-19 pandemic as a cover for exploitation operations, to name a few,” he added.
General Sanders likened the cyber-attacks to a modern-day "blitz".
"The intensity and the frequency of the attacks are on the same scale and if we let too many so-called bombers and their payloads through then it will sow the seeds of defeat.
"Not immediately, but slowly, insidiously, corrosively and inevitably."
He added that "defending ourselves in cyber space is at least as important as the Quick Ready Alert Typhoons from the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Ready Escort and Submarines in the Royal Navy".
Which is why the Prime Minister has tasked him with guiding the UK to become a "leading, full-spectrum cyber power".
This "first of all means being world-class at defending the nation’s critical national information. Secondly, it means being able to contest, to compete and to disrupt our adversaries projecting cyber effects at reach and scale,” he said.
Defensive cyber operations are expected to play a big part in the upcoming Integrated Review into the UK’s defence, security, and foreign policy.
Big investments are expected to be made with the support of the Prime Minister's chief advisor Dominic Cummings, who will play a key part in the review.
Cover image: MOD.