Trident Could be Hacked and we Might all Get Vapourised, Warns Security Expert

By Gary Cutlack on at

The absolute horror of a hack of the UK's Trident nuclear submarine fleet should not be considered beyond all possibility, with the subs and their weapon systems not as secure as our national defence experts claim.

This is coming from the British American Security Information Council, which has issued what looks like a challenge to the hackers of the world in the form of a report called Hacking UK Trident: A Growing Threat. Don't put the idea into their heads, Pike, you idiot.

The complete paper [PDF] warns that "A successful attack could neutralise operations, lead to loss of life, defeat or perhaps even the catastrophic exchange of nuclear warheads," with lesser consequences being the loss of confidence in the nuclear deterrent fleet caused by the possibility of a systems compromise being held by an enemy state's intelligence service.

The paper lists several methods that have been lab-proven to breach such "air-gapped" non-networked secure systems in the past, pointing out that latent malware could also be introduced during production, maintenance or via other more exotic methods.

Rather than putting out a challenge to the world's hackers to try to launch a nuke for a laugh and to see what Trump does, though, the idea behind the paper is to encourage thinking on how the Dreadnought-class replacements for the current Vanguard Trident fleet could be built in a more secure fashion, when the new fleet hits service in 2028. [British American Security Information Council via Guardian]

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