Job Listing Reportedly Reveals Secret UK Hacking UnitAdvertisement Described Special Air Service Mobile Hacker Squad
The U.K.'s Ministry of Defense reportedly posted a job opening recently for an electronics engineer for a secret hacking unit, dubbed MAB5.
The job posting, first reported by Alan Turnbull of defense investigatory website Secret Bases, has since been taken down from the U.K. Civil Service recruitment portal. It described in detail MAB5, a Special Air Service mobile hacker squad, Turnbull reported.
The advertisement stated, according to Turnbull: "MAB5 is a small military unit that specializes in the provision of novel and ground-breaking science and technology prototypes for operational requirements. As a military unit it is irregular and unrecognizable. Most of the workforce consist of civil servants who are Defense’s most talented scientists and engineers. The Computer Network Operations Exploit engineer works within a small highly specialized team of talented engineers specializing in communications, electronics, networks and systems."
The job vacancy described a "skilled electronics engineer required for CNO Exploit solutions in support of a specialist military user organization," Turnbull reported.
"It is possible that MAB5 is linked to the ultra-secretive Special Reconnaissance Regiment. The successful candidate was required to obtain the highest level developed vetting security clearance," he said.
The report on the advertisement comes on the heels of the U.K's Ministry of Defense calling on startups to help the military reduce its cyberattack surface. The MoD’s Defense and Security Accelerator says it aims to fund proposals up to 300,000 pounds ($413,000) for a nine-month contract to startups that can develop hardware and software technologies to "design out" the vulnerabilities in the current and future computer networks and systems.
The electronics engineer job listing for MAB5 was open to U.K. nationals only, and it pays a salary of 33,000 pounds ($45,400), Turnbull reported.
The engineer, according to Turnbull’s description of the job listing, is expected to "have the skills of a hacker and therefore an inquisitive and probing mindset," and must also be able to apply themselves to the systems and components that are needed to carry out such exploitation.
News Not Surprising
The revelation in the job listing of the MAB5 wing of the SAS is not surprising, says John Walker, cybersecurity researcher and consultant based in Nottingham, U.K.
For such a highly skilled tactical force, it makes great sense to tether the digital capabilities of MAB5 with the kinetic battle unit to offer a more comprehensive offensive or defensive position, says Walker, who has over two decades of experience at the Royal Air Force Security/Investigations and Counter Intelligence. He has also worked with GCHQ, as well as U.K. and U.S. intelligence agencies.
Last November, the U.K. announced the creation of the National Cyber Force, with offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, effectively making public and separating out an existing operation at GCHQ, as well as the establishment of an information warfare network named @HutEighteen.