Academic comments on cyber warfare and rising tensions between US and North Korea

Dr Andrew Futter from our School of History, Politics and International Relations has commented on the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea in relation to cyber warfare and nuclear strategy.

In a Wired article, Andrew discusses some of the challenges the US might face if it tried to ramp up its cyber approach to try and shut down the North Korean nuclear programme.

He says: “I suspect there has been attempted cyber warfare [between the US and North Korea] probably ongoing for as much as a decade.

“North Korea represents a challenge – it is closed off, so it’s difficult to get access to systems.”

As there is not a great deal of coding that goes on for missiles, Andrew suggests it’s more likely the US would try to infiltrate the missile supply chain while bolstering its own nuclear investment. 

"However, rather than 'make America’s nukes great again', what Donald Trump has done, is place greater emphasis on nuclear strength, purely through rhetoric and the possibility of future investment,” he says.

Andrew is a member of the cyber-nuclear security threats task force run by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an Honorary Research Fellow in Nuclear Strategy at the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security at the University of Birmingham, and a member of the Euro-Atlantic Security next generation working group.

His latest book Hacking the Bomb, which looks at the links between cyber and nuclear weapons, will be published by Georgetown University Press early next year.