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UK’s spy agencies grapple with IT modernisation–  as GCHQ ramps up hacking capabilities

MI5 is off to the cloud; GCHQ is ramping up Computer Network Exploitation capabilities; MI6 needs cultural changes to get a new IT platform running smoothly...

The King and Queen process through the Royal Gallery during the State Opening of Parliament in 2023. Copyright House of Lords 2023 / Photography by Annabel Moeller

The UK’s intelligence agencies are grappling with cloud migration and ERP modernisation programmes as part of an ongoing corporate IT overhaul. 

But behind those prosaic modernisation programmes are big ambitions:

GCHQ, for example, is working to “significantly increase” its capacity to hack adversaries, or “to deliver CNE operations,” The Stack can reveal.

That refers to Computer Network Exploitation, with GCHQ working on an ongoing programme that will “deliver a range of capabilities – from physical facilities to complex software development.. measured through milestones that represent the increasing provision of CNE capacity.”

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