Chatham House, a top UK think tank, issued a report this week that warned about the danger of nuclear war sparked by cyberattack. At the root of the problem is the reality that nuclear weapons systems were designed before the full-on onset of the digital era, without thought given to cybersecurity.

According to the report, communications and the transfer and storage of data are key targets. Referring to an earlier paper, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, Chatham House identified 13 potential cyberattack vulnerabilities:
1. Communications between command and control centers;
2. Communications from command stations to missile platforms and missiles;
3. Telemetry data from missiles to ground- and space-based command and control assets;
4. Analytical centers for gathering and interpreting long-term and real-time intelligence;
5. Cyber technologies in transport;
6. Cyber technologies in laboratories and assembly facilities;
7. Pre-launch targeting information for upload;
8. Real-time targeting information from space-based systems including positional, navigational
and timing data from global navigational systems;
9. Real-time weather information from space-, air-, and ground-based sensors;
10. Positioning data for launch platforms (e.g. submarines);
11. Real-time targeting information from ground stations;
12. Communications between allied command centers; and
13. Robotic autonomous systems within the strategic infrastructure

As legacy systems continue to exist and the sophistication of cyberattackers grows, the delta between the two becomes alarming. As Business Insider reports, the paper also “highlighted research by Israeli researchers, who claimed to be able to read information from a computer without being connected to it by listening to the sound of its cooling fans, arguing that keeping systems 100% offline is no longer a feasible strategy.”

Read the full story at Business Insider.