Nuclear Threat Initiative says nations not prepared to repel cyber attacks on nuclear facilities

Pierluigi Paganini January 27, 2016

According a report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, numerous nations are not prepared’ to handle the cyber attacks focusing on their nuclear facilities.

Numerous nations are not “prepared” to handle the cyberattacks focusing on their facilities linked to nuclear programs, as per a recent report from the NTI (Nuclear Threat Initiative).

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a non-fanatic, non-benefit association that focuses to fortify worldwide security the danger of utilization and keeping the spread of concoction, atomic and biological weapons.

The association’s third Nuclear Security Index evaluates the readiness of nations with regards to ensuring their atomic programs against targets and digital assaults.

The 2010 Stuxnet episode in Iran unmistakably showed the risk postured by cyberattacks to the atomic facilities. Be that as it may, as indicated by the 2016 NTI Index, while a few nations have begun finding a way to ensure atomic facilities against cyber assaults, numerous still don’t have legitimate laws and regulations set up.

Stuxnet Nuclear Reactor Nuclear Threat Initiative report

A cyberattack on an atomic facility could have extreme results  as it could be utilized to encourage the burglary of atomic materials or to attack the facility.

“For example, access control systems could be compromised, thus allowing the entry of unauthorized persons seeking to obtain nuclear material or to damage the facility,”. States the report issued by NTI. “Accounting systems could be manipulated so that the theft of material goes unnoticed. Reactor cooling systems could be deliberately disabled, resulting in a Fukushima-like disaster.”

The Nuclear Threat Initiative has verified that of the 24 nations with atomic materials’ weapons-usable and 23 states with atomic facilities, just 13 merit the most extreme cyber security score of “4”. These nations are the Australia, United States, Canada, Russia, Belarus, the United Kingdom,  Finland, France, Taiwan, Bulgaria,  the Netherlands, Hungary and Switzerland.

Then again, 20 nations got the base score as they don’t have even the fundamental necessities for shielding their atomic facilities against assaults over the Internet. Worryingly, a portion of the states that scored 0 have been extending the utilization of atomic force.

These scores depend on the responses to a progression of inquiries concentrating on a state’s digital security prerequisites for atomic assets, including assurance for basic advanced resources, consideration of digital dangers in risk appraisals, and the presence of an execution based project.

In the course of recent years, eight states have passed new laws and regulations or upgraded existing ones to fortify cybersecurity prerequisites, which has brought about enhanced scores in the NTI Index for them. The rundown incorporates the United Kingdom, South Africa, Russia, France and Pakistan.

“Given the potential consequences, all states must work aggressively to ensure that their nuclear facilities are protected from cyber attacks. Governments should include the cyber threat within the national threat assessment for their nuclear facilities, and they should put in place a clear set of laws, regulations, standards, and licensing requirements for all nuclear facilities that require protection of digital systems from cyber attacks”. Adding further,  “At the facility level, leadership must prioritize cybersecurity, determine potential consequences, and implement a program that ensures that digital assets and networks are characterized and secured and that the security is routinely tested.” states the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

A report published in the October 2015 by Chatham House uncovered that the worldwide atomic industry still doesn’t completely comprehend the danger postured by the cyberattacks. And given the fact that the Internet is becoming Internet of dangerous things (because of the Internet of things/connected devices’ wild spread somehow, I’d say), anyone can get infected over it – anytime!. The study, concentrating on common atomic facilities, demonstrated that this part had fallen behind different commercial ventures.

ICS-CERT, The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team in the United States said not long ago that of the 295 basic framework episodes answered to the association in the monetary year 2015, two percent was recorded in the atomic reactors, materials and waste segment.

Written by: Ali Qamar, Founder/Chief Editor at

Author Bio:
Ali Qamar is an Internet security research enthusiast who enjoys “deep” research to dig out modern discoveries in the security industry. He is the founder and chief editor at Security Gladiators, an ultimate source for cyber security. To be frank and honest, Ali started working online as a freelancer and still shares the knowledge for a living. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people, and always try to give only the best. Follow Ali on Twitter @AliQammar57

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Nuclear Threat Initiative, critical infrastructure)

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