Cyber-Nuclear Weapons Study Group

Examining cyber threats to nuclear weapons and developing options to address them 

Challenge

Cyber attacks against nuclear weapons and related systems could result in a catastrophic, unintended use of a nuclear weapon.

Action

Gather former senior military officials and top nuclear policy and cyber security experts to assess the risks posed to nuclear weapons by cyber threats and develop policy options to reduce those risks.

Results

Identification of the implications of cyber threats to nuclear weapons and related systems and a set of policy recommendations to minimize the risks of unintended use.

Little is understood about cyber threats to nuclear weapons, due to the sensitive nature of these systems. All digital systems are vulnerable, however, and the risks are real: cyber attacks could be used to steal sensitive information about nuclear weapons, interrupt critical communications, manipulate warning systems or undermine confidence in nuclear deterrent forces—ultimately increasing nuclear risks. 

NTI’s Cyber-Nuclear Weapons Study Group is examining the implications of cyber threats to nuclear weapons and related systems and is working to develop a set of options for our nuclear policies, postures, and doctrines that will reduce risks. Supported by expert analysis, NTI has convened plenary meetings of high-level former senior military and government officials, policy experts, and cybersecurity experts and will issue recommendations in late 2017.

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