Policy Paper

Cyber Risks Go Nuclear

in Program

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned this spring that Russia had infiltrated critical US infrastructure, targeting nuclear and other power plants, along with homes and businesses. UK officials joined in the warning, noting the attacks were worldwide. In July, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed more about Russia’s sophisticated methods to target and infiltrate industrial control systems. As Russian surveillance of systems persists, a DHS staffer summed up the current Russian capability: “They have access to the button, but they haven’t pushed it.”

Ergo, the Trump-Putin discussion to establish joint cybersecurity initiatives sounds preposterous. After all, why consort with the enemy? Because in this particular area the two countries could work together to leverage purchasing power over the supply chain for computer software and hardware to demand higher standards that benefit everyone, including both countries’ nuclear industries.

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