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The UK Ministry of Defence has enlisted the help of nine weapons firms, tech companies and telcos to beef up the country's cyber defences and fend off hacking and other attacks.

The alliance, aptly named the Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP), will share intelligence on the threats that the government and firms are facing.

"This is a clear demonstration that government and industry can work together – sharing information, experience and expertise – to make sure we do everything we can to protect these critical networks, ensuring that the business of defence is robustly protected," said Philip Dunne, the minister for defence equipment, support and technology.

Cyber criminals subject government and industry networks in Blighty to around 70 sophisticated attacks every month, 15 per cent of which are aimed at the defence sector, spook centre GCHQ has said.

The government is hoping that the new alliance will "act as a useful template" to be followed by the commercial sector as well. It said that the DCPP would focus on three areas this year, "increasing awareness of cyber risks across the supply chain, defining risk-driven approaches to applying cybersecurity standards and sharing threat intelligence".

The companies involved are BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, HP, BT, Thales, Cassidian, CGI, Selex and Rolls Royce. ®

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