The Defence Secretary is looking for some grey geeks

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A “grey war” is being waged online as cyber attacks sweep the globe – with “geeks” needed to confront the threat, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon warned today.

The Tory Minister told military experts online assaults were growing, with last week’s web hack on Parliament followed by Tuesday’s attack targeting some of the world’s biggest brands, including the Maersk shipping line, advertising giant WPP and Russian energy firm Rosneft,

The Armed Forces needed to recruit a new generation of “geeks and tech wizards” to tackle the spiralling threat of cyber warfare, Sir Michael said.

It’s not all about expensive fighter jets (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

He told the Royal United Services Institute’s Land Warfare Conference: “We have anonymous cyber foes, sponsored by state or non-state entities, lurking behind the veil of encryption, targeting our national infrastructure as we saw with the recent cyber strike on Parliament itself.

“That isn’t a Cold War, that is a grey war permanently teetering on the edge of outright hostility , hovering around the threshold of what we would normally consider to be an act of war.”

Britain needed to attract the right talent to deal with the increasingly complex environment, he said.

“We know that we have to reach out to the brilliant brains of tomorrow,” added Sir Michael.

Geeks are needed, according to Sir Michael (Photo: Getty)

“We know that we need to maintain the Army as an attractive proposition to those who might not have immediately considered choosing a military career – cyber geeks, tech wizards.

“Of course the Army as an institution has to revere its great traditions, but when younger people tell us there are savvier ways to communicate, then we have to listen.”