Thermonuclear Cyberwar • JournaL of Cybersecurity

muunyayo

Journal of Cybersecurity, Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2017, Pages 37–48, https://doi.org/10.1093/cybsec/tyw017

By: Erik Gartzke & Jon R. Lindsay

Abstract
Nuclear command and control increasingly relies on computing networks that might be vulnerable to cyber attack. Yet nuclear deterrence and cyber operations have quite different political properties. For the most part, nuclear actors can openly advertise their weapons to signal the costs of aggression to potential adversaries, thereby reducing the danger of misperception and war. Cyber actors, in contrast, must typically hide their capabilities, as revelation allows adversaries to patch, reconfigure, or otherwise neutralize the threat. Offensive cyber operations are better used than threatened, while the opposite, fortunately, is true for nuclear weapons. When combined, the warfighting advantages of cyber operations become dangerous liabilities for nuclear deterrence. Increased uncertainty about the nuclear/cyber balance of power raises the risk of miscalculation during a brinksmanship crisis. We should expect strategic stability in…

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