On 17 November, Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to boost investment in Britain's cyber security to counter the ever increasing threat posed by Islamic State (IS), following their most recent attacks in the French capital of Paris which killed at least 129 people. It has been reported that IS is attempting to develop cyber threats to attack Britain's infrastructure such as: hospitals, power networks and air traffic control units. Britain has plans to increase spending on cyber defence systems, subsequently building an offensive cyber capability. Osborne stated, "We will defend ourselves. But we will also take the fight to you". As a result, Osborne noted public spending on cyber issues and security would almost double on the run up to 2020, to a total of £1.9 billion (equivalent to $2.9 billion).
Britain will strengthen their "new" cyber forces jointly between GCHQ and the Defence Ministry, targeting hackers and militant groups, as well as other hostile powers. GCHQ traces its routes back to World War I (WWI), when British Signals Intelligence (SIGINIT) became a big success. The most famous SIGINIT report of WWI came from the decryption of a telegram sent by the German Foreign Minister in early 1917. In addition, other defence bodies, including MI5 and MI6 will receive additional funding, which should see their staffing increase by 15% (GCHQ shall also follow suit).
IS has been utilising the internet for propaganda and logistics, using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to radicalise people and to plan / organise their activities.
The number of cyber national security incidents has doubled, to 200 a month, since last year. The new security plan based at GCHQ's headquarters in Cheltenham, South-West England will be implemented to ensure quicker and more effective responses to online attacks. Other aspects of the plan included potential communication between internet service providers, with help from the government, to block malware attacks and bad addresses used against British users. British giant, TalkTalk, suffered a cyber attack in October this year, which affected around 157,000 customers. George Osborne confirmed in a statement that, "the experience in the last month shows how cyber attack can suddenly go from a theoretical risk to a massive business cost."