Thermonuclear cyberwar

  title={Thermonuclear cyberwar},
  author={Erik Gartzke and Jon R. Lindsay},
  journal={J. Cybersecur.},
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… 

Tables from this paper

Taking the archers for granted: emerging threats to nuclear weapon delivery systems
ABSTRACT A reliable capability is essential for deterrence to succeed. While incredible threats coupled with an assured ability to hurt an adversary may be enough to alter behavior, even the most
Correlations Between Cyberspace Attacks and Kinetic Attacks
  • Martin C. Libicki
  • Computer Science
    2020 12th International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon)
  • 2020
The broad conclusion is that conflict in cyberspace rarely echoes into the world of kinetic conflict (although kinetic conflict increasingly has Cyberspace dimensions), which raises the question of whether and why a threshold is emerging between non-lethal and lethal attacks.
A Cyber-Nuclear Deterrence Game
  • B. Soper
  • Engineering
    2019 57th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing (Allerton)
  • 2019
A game theoretic model of preemptive cyber attacks against nuclear command, control and communications, a modification of the classic two-player game of Chicken, is presented, showing that when both players have advanced cyber capabilities conflict is more likely in equilibrium, regardless of information structure.
The Cyber-Nuclear Nexus and Threats to Strategic Stability
Nuclear facilities have become heavily dependent on digital control systems or computer based information systems (IS) because digitalisation of operational functions and working processes increases the quality and efficiency of these facilitites.
Cyberattacks, cyber threats, and attitudes toward cybersecurity policies
It is suggested that peoples’ willingness to accept government cybersecurity policies that limit personal civil liberties and privacy depends on the type of cyberattacks to which they were exposed and the perceptions associated with such exposure.
The Subversive Trilemma: Why Cyber Operations Fall Short of Expectations
Abstract Although cyber conflict has existed for thirty years, the strategic utility of cyber operations remains unclear. Many expect cyber operations to provide independent utility in both warfare
The Cyber-Nuclear Nexus in East Asia: Cyberwarfare’s Escalatory Potential in the US-China Relationship
The evolution of cyberwarfare will drastically complicate broader militarized conflicts between great powers. Yet, despite both their technical and psychological effects on future theaters of battle,
The Subversive Trilemma
states have engaged in cyber conoict, yet the strategic utility of cyber operations remains unclear. Strategic utility refers to measurable contributions toward a state’s political goals or shifts in
Social Scientific Analysis of Nuclear Weapons
Scholars interested in researching nuclear security are increasingly expressing the fear that the “important questions” have already been answered. At the same time, recent studies highlight the
Risk and uncertainty can be analyzed in cyberspace
This work analyzes the formulation of state perceptions of risk and uncertainty and seeks to establish a heuristic within which risk and Uncertainty can be analyzed.


Signaling with Secrets
How do you credibly communicate a threat that you cannot reveal? This problem is endemic for modern space and cyberspace capabilities, but the challenge of secrecy constraints in cross-domain
Stuxnet and the Limits of Cyber Warfare
The empirical facts of Stuxnet support an opposite interpretation; cyber capabilities can marginally enhance the power of stronger over weaker actors, the complexity of weaponization makes cyber offense less easy and defense more feasible than generally appreciated, and cyber options are most attractive when deterrence is intact.
Economically Complex Cyberattacks
  • S. Borg
  • Computer Science
    IEEE Secur. Priv.
  • 2005
To understand how this would work, the authors need to look at three features of their economy that are responsible for much of its structural complexity: redundancies, interdependencies, and near monopolies, and see how each of them would prompt a different sort of attack strategy.
Nuclear Deterrence and Cyber: The Quest for Concept
Nuclear deterrence is not what it used to be. Theorists, policy makers, and military planners have arrived at the place that noted physicist Freeman Dyson referred to as “The Quest for Concept.”1 One
Cyber-Terror—Looming Threat or Phantom Menace? The Framing of the US Cyber-Threat Debate
This paper analyzes the US cyber-terror discourse from a constructivist security studies angle, and speculates on characteristics that are responsible for the rapid and considerable political impact of the widespread conceptualization of aspects of information technology as a security problem in the 1990s.
The Myth of Cyberwar: Bringing War in Cyberspace Back Down to Earth
  • E. Gartzke
  • Political Science
    International Security
  • 2013
Abstract Cyberwar has been described as a revolution in military affairs, a transformation of technology and doctrine capable of overturning the prevailing world order. This characterization of the
Combating Complexity: Offensive Cyber Capabilities and Integrated Warfighting
Despite recent work challenging offense dominance in cyberspace, scholars and policymakers still view offensive operations as dominating defense, and operate as an interaction between offense and defense.
Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
Richard A. Clarke warned America once before about the havoc terrorism would wreak on our national security -- and he was right. Now he warns us of another threat, silent but equally dangerous. Cyber
Managing Nuclear Operations
During four decades of experience with nuclear weapons, public awareness and discussion have focused on their basic properties and capabilities - the explosive power they contain, the technical
Weaving Tangled Webs: Offense, Defense, and Deception in Cyberspace
The strategy of deception has other important implications: as deterrence became foundational in the nuclear era, deception should rise in prominence in a world that increasingly depends on technology to mediate interaction.