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[ISN] Officials Worry About Vulnerability of Global Nuclear Stockpile to Cyber Attack
By Aliya Sternstein
March 13, 2013
Senators requested a national intelligence assessment of foreign nationsâ
abilities to protect their nuclear weapons from digital strikes after the
Pentagon's chief cyber officer said he does not know whether China, Russia or
other nuclear powers, aside from the United States, have effective safeguards
Whatâs more, the resiliency of most U.S. nuclear systems against a nuclear
strike is untested, a new Defense Science Board report concluded.
Gen. C. Robert Kehler, chief of U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees Cyber
Command, told lawmakers that he agrees a comprehensive assessment is in order.
But, he added, "we do evaluate" the potential for a cyber-related attack on
U.S. nuclear command and control systems and the weapons systems themselves. He
could not tell Congress, however, if other nuclear nations are as prepared for
the risk of a digitally-triggered atomic explosion.
"What about the Russians and the Chinese? Do they have the ability to stop some
cyberattack from launching one of their nuclear intercontinental ballistic
missiles?" probed Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., a member of the Armed Forces
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