Slim chance of nuclear cyber raid in closed North Korea

William Maclean

Assuming Stuxnet is aimed at Iran‘s nuclear program, could a similar cyber bug be used to wreck a uranium enrichment plant unveiled by ally North Korea?

The answer, in theory, is yes, say security specialists who monitor international efforts to check the military ambitions of the secretive nuclear-armed country.

Also in theory, the plant at the North’s main atomic complex may already be infected by the customized malware, its key parts destined to turn gradually into worthless scrap metal.

But North Korea‘s isolation and tight state control mean that in practice the country would probably be an even tougher target than Iran for any attempt to use cyber warfare to cripple the production of fissile material for an atom bomb.

Any effort to insert a destructive bug into its enrichment systems might best be attempted before the North Koreans took delivery of the equipment — in other words by intercepting the gear in transit. 

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