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News Picks : Many countries’ nuclear facilities remain vulnerable to cyberattacks, says study

By: Physics Today
15 January 2016
New York Times: Despite three Nuclear Security Summits called by President Obama, many countries with significant stockpiles of nuclear material still lack protection from cyberattacks, says a recent report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative. That type of sabotage targets nuclear facilities’ computer systems, and as evidenced by the Stuxnet worm that was unleashed upon the Natanz nuclear plant in Iran, even a facility that has been completely isolated from the internet remains vulnerable. According to the report, 20 nations with significant atomic stockpiles or nuclear power plants lack even minimal protection from a cyberattack. And because of the secrecy surrounding military facilities, the report could provide no data on the level of security for nuclear weapons in the nine countries that have them. On 31 March and 1 April, world leaders will be meeting in Washington for the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, during which Obama will make another plea to the nations of the world to lock down or eliminate nuclear materials and to make a stronger effort to prevent nuclear terrorism.

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