Hackers with a criminal past could be recruited to serve in the new military cyber force, the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond indicated. He said the conviction and sentence would be examined but if the candidate got past the vetting process., there would be a place for them in the team
As well as protecting against online attack, the Joint Cyber Reserve Unit will have an offensive capability able to strike at enemies, which is where hackers could come into their own as military assets. There are many professional people out there who will have the skills that you might traditionally associate with the hackers' skill set who have never done anything illegal and who scrupulously maintain their activities on the right side of the law.
The new unit will have “considerable flexibility" in recruiting criteria, without the same standards of fitness required for infantry reservists.
Philip Hammond said: "What we are trying to do is recruit the very brightest and the best from across the IT industry and use the skill sets they have got in the national interest to enhance our cyber defences and to help us build an offensive cyber capability."
It now appears that they are taking this seriously.