This in turn increases the risk from another area barely known about in the Cold War: cyberattacks, said Camille M. Francois, an expert in the field at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
With their high level of automation, “nuclear assets are by their nature extremely vulnerable to cyberattack,” Francois said.
In addition, she said, policymakers still have something of a “1980s mentality,” focusing on the idea of a lone hacker — like in the 1983 movie “WarGames” — and believing that cyberattacks can only come via the Internet. “It’s not kids anymore, it is states investing very heavily in cyberwarfare. This is the new battlefield, the fifth domain of war,” she said.