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Cyber security units to protect Russia’s nuclear weapons stockpiles



RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo



The IT systems of all Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles will be protected by a new team of anti-hackers, the Defense Ministry said after a year-long “hunting season” for programmers.

Special units of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (SMF), responsible for the country’s nuclear weapons, will reduce the vulnerability, should it be found, in their brand-new information systems, according to the Defense Ministry’s spokesman.

"The SMF is adopting digital technologies in weapon and troop control and is expanding the use of electronic document management. Therefore, SMF staff are taking preventive measures in upgrading cybersecurity: the process of creating teams responsible for sustainable combat troop control amid cyberwarfare is underway," Igor Egorov said on Thursday.

Titled “Sopka”, which in Russian stands for the “System of Detection and Prevention of Computer Attacks”, the team is set to thwart global hacker attacks. Its specialists will be cooperating both with troops armed with mobile land-based missile systems and with those equipped with silo launchers.

The SMF are active users of cutting-edge technologies - arms, weapons, and document flows are controlled with their help. The security upgrade is aimed at avoiding hacking of this electronic system, with e-management fully operating by 2020.

This spring, the Russian SMF’s five silo launchers were equipped with armed guarding robots. Designed not only to detect and destroy targets on their own, they can also gather intelligence data.

In summer 2013, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the ministry had started a “big headhunt”, as programmers were needed for the development of the software the army needs in the following five years.

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