Threat Management

Proposed Pentagon plan sees nuclear response to some cyberattacks

A massive and crippling cyberattack upon the United States' infrastructure could elicit a nuclear response under a newly drafted strategy that has been presented to President Trump.

If put into practice the plan, called the Nuclear Posture Review, would break decades of precedent that had the United States using its nuclear arsenal only in response to limited type of attacks, such as nuclear or biological, according to a report in The New York Times. The proposed nuclear strategy would encompass cyberattacks against the power grid or communications ability.

The Times reported that the draft document does not specifically state that a cyberattack would be among the reasons for an immediate nuclear response, but that the ability of a cyberattacker to incapacitate crucial systems could make a cyber only incident just as devastating as a physical attack and thus deserve such a response.

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