#CyberFLASH: Nuclear Threat Initiative gives Canada high score on cyber security

cra-passwords-security_211076204-e1402005190177Much of the world’s enriched uranium and plutonium is “too vulnerable to theft” and a cyber attack on a nuclear facility could “facilitate” either theft of nuclear material or sabotage, the Nuclear Threat Initiative warned in a recent report.

“Nearly 2,000 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear materials remain stored around the world, much of it still too vulnerable to theft,” wrote Sam Nunn, Co-chairman and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NTI, in a forward to the 2016 NTI Nuclear Security Index: Theft and Sabotage. “The risk is compounded by the fact that a terrorist group wouldn’t need much nuclear material to make a nuclear bomb.” [click image below to enlarge]

Nunn represented the state of Georgia, as a Republican, in the United States Senate from 1972 through 1996, serving as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

This year’s NTI index – Building a Framework for Assurance, Accountability and Action, Third Edition – was developed with The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Released Jan. 14, the index assesses the security of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, rating 24 countries – including Canada – with one kilogram or more of “weapons-usable nuclear materials.” It also rates 45 countries “with respect to the protection of nuclear facilities against sabotage.”

Of the 24 nations with weapons-usable nuclear material, nine, including Canada, received the maximum score for cyber security. Seven scored zero.

A cyberattack “could facilitate the theft of nuclear materials or an act of sabotage,” NTI warned. “For example, access control systems could be compromised.”

Countries were rated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is the most favourable nuclear security conditions.

For risk environment, Canada scored 79.

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