Speaker: Futter, A. (University of Leicester)
Date: 29 November 2018
SMA hosted a speaker session presented by Dr. Andrew Futter (University of Leicester) as a part of its SMA STRATCOM Academic Alliance Speaker Series. During his presentation, Dr. Futter highlighted his research on cyber threats and nuclear weapons. First, he introduced the cyber-nuclear nexus, and explained his motivation for conducting this research, while outlining a series of questions he asked himself while writing his book. He proceeded to discuss 11 things that one should know about cyber threats and their relationship with nuclear weapons: 1) Cyber is a contested concept; 2) Cyber and nuclear are different; 3) Some cyber challenges are inherent; 4) Cyber threats are diverse; 5) Air gapping is not a panacea; 6) Espionage and IP theft are the biggest cyber threats; 7) Deterrence can play a role in the cyber-nuclear realm, but it has to be nuanced; 8) Viewing cyber as “separate” is unhelpful; 9) Cyber threats are most dangerous in a crisis; 10) Humans are an absolutely fundamental part of the cyber challenge; and 11) There seems to be an emerging norm of “hacking the bomb.” To conclude, Dr. Futter offered a series of recommendations, including that the US keep its nuclear facilities simple, separate, and secure.