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The UK has the ability to launch cyber attacks but does not use it for industrial espionage like some other countries, minister Lord West has said.
He refused to be drawn on whether it was used for military purposes.
They had not employed any "ultra, ultra criminals" but needed the expertise of former "naughty boys", he added.
"You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff... If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they really enjoy stopping other naughty boys," he said.
He also confirmed that the government had developed the capability to strike back at cyber attacks, although he declined to say whether it had ever been used.
Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Tom Brake said: "This new cyber security strategy could lead to an extension of the government's invasive counter-terrorism powers which already pose significant threats to our civil liberties.
"The cyber security strategy uses broad, undefined terms that risk creating panic among the public and a demand for further government powers. We must not retreat into a Cold War mentality."