Is the Enemy in the System?
Philip Reiner and Peter Hayes with Dr. Jon Lindsay
Dr. Jon Lindsay argues that: “As NC3 increasingly uses digital technologies to enhance efficiency and reliability, the cybersecurity of NC3 becomes a pressing concern. Adversaries have incentives to penetrate NC3 for intelligence in peacetime and for counterforce in wartime. Given the broad diffusion of cyber capabilities, furthermore, most nuclear-weapon states also have some ability to do so, although the operational difficulties of gaining remote access to and covert control over NC3 cannot be overstated. Offensive cyber operations targeting NC3 introduce a number of under-appreciated risks of organizational breakdown, decision making confusion, and rational miscalculation in a nuclear crisis.”
The podcast is accompanied by Dr. Jon Lindsay’s paper “Cyber Operations and Nuclear Weapons.”
The Fourth Leg is a series of podcasts focused on one of the most complex systems in the world today – nuclear command and control – and its increasingly complicated future. Within this series we go straight to the experts, across multiple sectors, to discuss the modernization of nuclear command and control systems.
Along with colleagues from the Nautilus Institute and the Preventive Defense Project, IST recently hosted over 50 international experts at Stanford University to anticipate technical challenges that will arise from the modernization of complex nuclear command and control systems. We aim to spotlight some of the vulnerabilities within a modernized NC3 system while furthering the conversation with this series.
Keep an eye on IST, as we will begin additional podcast series in the coming months focused on how to fix the internet, AI and global stability, and other critical tech and security issues- for now, we have so much more to talk about, so let’s get started.