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New cyber crime unit unveiled

The Government is to set up a police cyber crime unit as part of a £650m drive to tackle the growing threat of online attacks from criminal gangs, hostile states, "hactivists" and terrorists.

The division was unveiled by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, pictured, who said there was a "real and growing" threat to the UK's interests.

The Cyber Crime Unit will be operational by 2013 Mr Maude said and will be part of the National Crime Agency and builds on the Metropolitan Police force's eCrime Unit. Mr Maude added: "We will also ensure that the police use existing powers to ensure that cyber criminals are appropriately sanctioned." As well as law enforcement, a joint cyber unit at GCHQ will develop the UK's military capabilities in cyberspace.