CND urges government to condemn Trump's nuclear weapons policy


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

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.

"The likelihood of attempted cyber-attacks on nuclear weapons systems is relatively high and increasing from advanced persistent threats from states and non-state groups", the report said.

Some of the known methods that would affect the decision-making process for launching a nuclear weapon include data manipulation, cyber jamming communication channels or cyber spoofing, according to the authors of the report, worldwide security researchers Beyza Unal and Patricia Lewis.

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However, the also using cyber warfare to disrupt North Korea's weapons program - a campaign than began under the Obama administration - and was blamed for the April 2017 failure of a rocket that disintegrated seconds after being launched.

Trump reportedly responded to a chart about the reduction in USA nuclear weapons since the Cold War by hoping for a ten-fold increase in the stockpile, though he called the reporting from NBC "pure fiction".

"We spend $5bn per submarine to make it invisible and we put a lot of warheads on each submarine and so what they want to do is take one missile, put one small warhead on it and launch it first, so the submarine is vulnerable to Russian attack". These risks could undermine confidence in a country's ability to react at a time of crisis.

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.

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

Researchers Dr Beyza Unal and Dr Patricia Lewis outlined a number of doomsday scenarios that could hit any nuclear arsenal in the world including neutralising communications - sowing doubt in the minds of world leaders and commanders ahead of a strike.

"Whether it's assigning the defense secretary and attorney general a role in certifying a launch order, requiring a Congressional Declaration of War before the first use of nuclear weapons, or ending the policy of nuclear first use entirely, any of these common-sense measures would reduce the risk we now face". "The final draft drops proposals to develop a nuclear hyper-glide weapon, and to remove assurances to non-nuclear weapons states that the USA will not use its nuclear arsenal against them".

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