The UK government will soon announce a fresh £9 million funding to enable the police forces to nab cyber criminals who use the Dark Web to buy and sell malware, firearms, and drug and use their anonymity to carry out cyber attacks on people, government institutions and private enterprises without fear of retaliation.
The announcement is expected to be made by Home Secretary Amber Rudd during the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberUK 2018 conference. Out of the £9 million fund, at least £5 million will be used by police forces across the country to establish dedicated cyber crime units in order to unearth criminals who use the Dark Web to hide their operations.
Here's an excerpt from Amber Rudd's speech which was released in advance:
“A dark and dangerous place where anonymity emboldens people to break the law in the most horrifying of ways. A platform of dangerous crimes and horrific abuse. A sickening shopping list of services and products are available.
“So today I’m pleased to announce that we will be giving over £9m to enhance the UK’s specialist law enforcement response. They will use this money to help combat the criminals who continually exploit the anonymity of the dark web.”
Uk to spend £50 million to fight cyber crime this year
The £9 million fund will be part of a total allocation of £50 million which the government has promised to spend to help law enforcement authorities improve their cyber capabilities and to fight cyber crime in the year 2018-2019.
“The world of cyber is fast developing and we need a fast-developing response to match, one that recognises that it is the responsibility of everyone in the UK to fight the evolving threat.
"The £50m of funding will mean that cyber-crimes are investigated thoroughly and police can support local businesses and local victims, providing the advice and care they need. Because whilst criminals plot and hide behind their screens, their actions have real-life consequences for their victims.
"My own father was the victim of fraud and I know from personal experience the importance of supporting those who have been victimised through no fault of their own. And now that it’s happening online, it’s happening to even more people.
"But business owners, cyber-security experts and individuals can do a lot to help too. Because in the same way that shops protect themselves from burglary with locks, alarms and security guards, I expect businesses to take equivalent precautions digitally," Rudd will add.
Police forces woefully understaffed
Last year, research by independent think-tank Reform revealed that while the UK's police forces were in need of at least 12,000 volunteers from the civil society to fight the growing menace of cyber crimes, only 40 out of 13,500 volunteers working for the UK Police were cyber security experts.
"The whole workforce requires better equipment, a better understanding of digital demand and crime-fighting techniques, and new (less-hierarchical) working patterns. Police forces should make better use of secondments, and introduce on-demand cyber-volunteer units to help fight the most sophisticated crime, such as cyber-attacks," the firm said.
In terms of funding the force's digital understanding and their upskilling, Reform said that the Home Office should use administrative savings from accelerating the Government's automation agenda to set up a £450 million a year capital grant for the forces.
At the same time, the £175 million Police Transformation Fund should also be used to implement a transformational technology. The government should use the £4.7 billion Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to invest in new policing technology companies as well.