The report identified human errors, design flaws, system failures and other vulnerabilities within the supply chain as potential entry points for malicious actors to breach the nuclear weapons systems and wreak havoc through manipulating its data and jamming its network, among other harmful cyber methods.
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"The United States remains committed to its efforts in support of the ultimate global elimination of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons..." the review reads.
A think tank today published a report that claims that nuclear weapon systems in both the USA and United Kingdom are vulnerable to hacking and that hackers could potentially start a nuclear war.
"The most severe effect of a cyber attack on one or more nuclear weapons systems would be the inadvertent launch of missiles and/or the inadvertent detonation of a warhead that lead to a significant loss of life", it said. The authors claim it could lead to "inadvertent nuclear launches" based on an "unwitting reliance" on false information.
The US may have infiltrated parts of North Korea's missile systems a year ago and caused test failures.
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Software in the nuclear missile system was being upgraded after defence officials admitted there was "legitimate concern" about threats from cyber hackers. Cyberattack methods such as data manipulation, digital jamming and cyber spoofing could jeopardize the integrity of communication, leading to increased uncertainty in decision-making. The Pentagon alleges in the draft that Russian Federation thinks launching a limited nuclear strike first may offer an advantage, in part because it has a variety of small nuclear weapons at its disposal.
The report comes as the USA officials grow increasingly concerned that North Korea might use cyber attacks alongside conventional weapons.
While a massive $1.3 trillion, 30-year scheme to refurbish all the elements of the U.S. nuclear "triad"-intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and strategic bombers-was introduced under the Obama administration, it had always been stated USA policy not to build new types of nuclear warheads".
'At best, cyber insecurity in nuclear weapons systems is likely to undermine trust and confidence in military capabilities and in the nuclear weapons infrastructure.
This could "infect digital components of a system at any time", which the think-tank said could lead to countries launching nuclear weapons by accident.
The Pentagon believes in strengthening the nuclear triad as a mean to deter conflict in what is described as "a critical moment in our nation's history", and a "more complex and demanding" worldwide security environment than any since the end of the Cold War. These should incorporate an analysis of a combination of threats, vulnerabilities and consequences.