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UK and US pledge to punish cyber criminals at annual meeting

Intelligence and defence officials met at the annual forum to discuss approaches to cyber security for the years ahead

Intelligence and defence chiefs in the UK and US have confirmed their intentions to "impose consequences" on shared enemies in the world of cyber space.

Meeting at the Cyber Management Review in Maryland earlier this month, the two nations also pledged to continue to jointly innovate to tackle evolving threats in the cyber security landscape.

It said cyber space is an increasingly contested space and continued threats from both sophisticated criminals and hostile states continue to impact both countries' people and ways of life.

Representatives from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the US Cyber Command met at the annual forum which helps to shape the two countries' intelligence relationship and helps drive "world-class cyber capabilities," GCHQ said.

"As like-minded allies for two centuries, the United Kingdom and the United States share a close and enduring relationship," read a joint statement issued by the intelligence and defence chiefs. "Our two nations today face strategic threats in an interconnected, digital world that seek to undermine our shared principles, norms, and values. 

“We agree that strategic engagement in cyber space is crucial to defending our way of life, by addressing these evolving threats with a full range of capabilities. To carry this out, we will continue to adapt, innovate, partner, and succeed against evolving threats in cyber space," it added.

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The two nations didn't identify specifically any common threat actors but said proportionate action would be taken to stop anyone or any group committing malicious cyber activity.

Any action would be "legal, proportionate, and necessary," the two countries said.

"As democratic cyber nations, the UK and US are committed to doing so in a responsible way in line with international law and norms, setting the example for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace,” the officials added.

The meeting earlier this month was the first time the UK and US had met at the Cyber Management Review in 2 years.

In attendance were Jeremy Fleming, Director at GCHQ, and General Sir Patrick Sanders, commander of UK Strategic Command, for the UK. General Paul Nakasone, director of the US National Security Agency and Commander of US Cyber Command represented the US.

The Cyber Management Review is supported by work carried out at multiple levels of the intelligence and defence organisations involved, providing guidance for future military and intelligence efforts specific to cyber space.

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