Experts warn of cyber attack threat to nuclear arsenals

A report published on 11 January by the British institute Chatham House claims nuclear weapon systems are facing a growing threat of cyberattacks.

The potential cyber risks include compromise to communication channels between communication and control centers, manipulation of telemetry and targeting data, and modifications of hardware and software components of nuclear warheads during their production. Such interventions are feared to lead to sabotage or unauthorized initiation of nuclear weapons, or to the influencing of decision-making personnel, as they may be triggered by states or actors, such as terrorist groups, via a direct attack on IT infrastructure – malware implementation, etc. – and social engineering techniques. Since many nuclear weapons systems were established prior to current digital technologies, their security policy do not account for the increased number of cyber vulnerabilities present in modern technological age. Problematic aspects include the slow introduction of institutional changes, as well as the fact that individuals and organizations involved in nuclear weapons policy often do not keep pace with evolving technological developments.

About author: Roman Šulc


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