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[ISN] Officials Worry About Vulnerability of Global Nuclear Stockpile to Cyber Attack



http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2013/03/officials-worry-about-vulnerability-global-nuclear-stockpile-cyber-attack/61855/

By Aliya Sternstein
Nextgov.com
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 in place.

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 Committee.

[...]

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