So how does 77th Brigade op­er­ate?

The Mail on Sunday - - News -

THE Bri­tish Army’s se­cret cy­ber unit uses un­con­ven­tional war­fare to fight in the in­for­ma­tion age.

Nick­named the ‘new Chin­dits’ af­ter the Bri­tish and In­dian force which used un­ortho­dox tac­tics dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, the 77th Brigade is now a key part of many mil­i­tary de­ploy­ments.

Among its many func­tions, it car­ries out cy­ber at­tacks on ter­ror net­works, tack­les pro­pa­ganda on­line and en­gages in coun­ter­piracy and counter-in­sur­gency ac­tiv­i­ties on the dark web.

The brigade cur­rently has small teams in the Ukraine, where they are train­ing gov­ern­ment forces to pro­tect com­puter sys­tems from at­tack. Oth­ers per­form a sim­i­lar role in Iraq and North Africa.

Com­manded by Bri­gadier Chris Bell, of the Scots Guards, the 1,200-strong unit is one of the most un­ortho­dox for­ma­tions in the Army al­though out­wardly, its HQ , hid­den in the Berk­shire coun­try­side along­side a gar­den cen­tre, ap­pears un­re­mark­able.

Many of its mem­bers are com­puter science grad­u­ates head­hunted to join one of three spe­cial­ists teams: cy­ber war­fare, psy­cho­log­i­cal in­flu­ence and in­for­ma­tion op­er­a­tions.

A se­nior source said: ‘These peo­ple are real-life Ja­son Bournes, op­er­at­ing closely with spe­cial forces, the se­cu­rity ser­vices and hu­man in­tel­li­gence. They bring a skillset we have not seen be­fore.

‘Their task is to hoover up in­for­ma­tion and pick out the de­tail, while ma­nip­u­lat­ing the en­emy by dig­i­tal and psy­cho­log­i­cal means.

‘These peo­ple are ex­perts in tech – they can use a phone to in­ter­cept, track and mon­i­tor other users and their skills are be­ing used to train Spe­cial Forces about the use of their phones.’

INSIGNIA: Sign at the 77th Brigade base – as cap­tured by Chan­nel One

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