Cyber Threats and Nuclear Dangers
Policy Briefs

Cyber Threats and Nuclear Dangers

APLN Policy Brief 17

The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full brief.

The problem of commercial cyber espionage is insidious, widespread and ever-present, but many other cyber challenges are just as real, and some that currently seem abstract nevertheless need to be taken seriously. The nuclear domain is a case in point: nuclear weapons, materials and facilities are vulnerable to accidents, sabotage or theft, in incidents that can have a cyber dimension.

Cyber attacks on nuclear facilities are known to have occurred in the recent past, others could have gone unreported, and numerous scenarios can be envisaged that could have destabilizing or even catastrophic consequences for humankind. This Policy Brief explores cyber threats of varying degrees of probability in the civil and military nuclear spheres: it assesses the measures that are being taken to improve cyber security at nuclear facilities and makes recommendations for next steps to improve the governance of sensitive nuclear information.

About the Author

Vincent Boulanin is a Researcher with the SIPRI European Security Programme, currently working on cybersecurity and cyber-warfare issues. Previously he was a SIPRI Associated Research Fellow, working with the Arms Production Programme.

Tanya Ogilvie-White is Research Director at the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. Previously, she was Senior Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, and Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Image: Pixabay stock, Darwin Laganzon.

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