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Trident could be used AGAINST UK in 'devastating' nuclear missile cyber attack

13 January, 2018, 01:25 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • The plans for America's new nuclear policy propose the creation of new submarine launched missiles. US Navy

This could "hijack decision-making with potentially devastating consequences", it found.

"At times of heightened tension, cyber attacks on nuclear weapons systems could cause an escalation, which results in their use".

Meanwhile, U.S. media have been exercised by comments by Ri Son-kwon, who led the North Korean delegation to cross-border talks on Tuesday and said the North's nuclear weapons and missiles are trained chiefly on the U.S.

While cybersecurity is a prevalent issue many sectors of society now have to consider, nuclear weapons systems were developed during a technological era when " little consideration was given to potential malicious cyber vulnerabilities", the report states.

It continues: "Cyber vulnerabilities within nuclear weapons systems and structures present a whole set of dangers and risks".

Commenting on the report, Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault, said: "There are many risks with connecting legacy systems, we've seen in the past years an increase in the attempts to attack critical national infrastructure such as electricity".

"After all, it is the public that will pay the ultimate price for complacency regarding cybersecurity of nuclear weapons systems".




But the document also lays out the "bleak" turn that the world has taken since the last posture review in 2010, particularly highlighting North Korea's nuclear weapons program and a more aggressive Russian Federation after the annexation of Crimea.

The report comes as the USA officials grow increasingly concerned that North Korea might use cyber attacks alongside conventional weapons.

Potential weaknesses include rudimentary components, the report said. Elsewhere, the silos of United States nuclear-tipped Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles "are believed to be particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks".

"We can not stand idly by as Donald Trump holds us all hostage to his petulant mood swings", said Dr. Bruce Blair, a veteran nuclear launch officer and co-founder of the Global Zero movement to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Researchers Dr Beyza Unal and Dr Patricia Lewis outlined a number of doomsday scenarios that could hit any nuclear arsenal in the world.

The report noted that it is the responsibility of nuclear weapons states to incorporate cyber risk reduction measures in nuclear command, control and communication systems. Although some information is publicly available on USA weapons systems, there is very little information regarding other nuclear weapons states.

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