A 'dirty lab' has been established in Malvern, Worcestershire with the support of GCHQ, to help businesses stress-test their networks against attacks.
It is run by the Malvern Cyber Security Group, a partnership of six local computer security companies, which will use the same tactics and techniques as criminals but with the permission of the authorities.
A BBC News report quoted Dibble Clark, chairman of Malvern-based 3SDL, saying that the lab would help small- and medium-sized businesses tackle the growing problem of cyber crime.
Speaking to Radio 4's The Today Show, Clark said: 'Malware and viruses and other such things, if we are going to be using them against some of the systems that we are going to be testing, we don't want to be doing it in the real world.'
Employing 'ethical hackers', the group said it is instructing them on the boundaries to ensure that cyber crime is not conducted at the lab.
The report claimed that the ‘dirty lab' has already received interest from businesses, but cyber criminals' unlimited scale of research and development and finance means that it is competing against a formidable opponent.