Cold War throwback: U.S.-Russia to use nuclear ‘hotline’ for new cyber showdown

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President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin inked a deal on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland, agreeing to use a nuclear “hotline” to communicate in realtime during a cyber-crisis.

The intent is to use the famous line of communication to prevent errors in judgment or misunderstanding that could escalate into war.  

The re-launch of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center — which since 1987 has enabled Moscow and Washington to warn each other of missile tests that could be mistaken as acts of aggression — is one of series of measures the two men announced in a a joint statement Monday.

The moves are “a range of steps designed to increase transparency and reduce the possibility that a misunderstood cyber incident could create instability or a crisis,” said the statement.

“Taken together, they represent important progress by our two nations to build confidence and strengthen our relations in cyberspace; expand our shared understanding of threats appearing to emanate from each other’s territory; and prevent unnecessary escalation of [cyber] security incidents.”


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About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...

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