The UK and US are to carry out staged cyber attacks on each other’s banks as part of a new joint defence against online criminals.
The BBC reports the first exercise in a series of “war game” cyber attacks will involve the Bank of England and US and UK commercial banks.
It is set to take place later this year and will be followed by further exercises to test “critical national infrastructure”, says Downing Street.
Downing Street says agents will co-operate in “cyber cells” on both sides of the Atlantic, involving M15 and the FBI.
The cells are the first the UK has established with another country and aim to improve the flow of information between the US and UK about cyber threats.
Prime Minister David Cameron says cyber attacks are “one of the big modern threats that we face”.
He says: “It’s about protecting people’s data, people’s finances – these attacks can have real consequences on people’s prosperity.”