On the heels of releasing thousands of documents related to the CIA’s hacking program, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is making the case that cyber weapons are more dangerous than nuclear weapons.
Speaking to Arabic-language talk show “The Fifth Estate,” Assange said cyber weapons are easier to build and can do more damage more quickly.
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“The ideas behind nuclear weapons of involving critical mass and the physics, those are mostly known, so that information has spread around the world,” Assange said.
“But in order to build a nuclear weapon, you need to build up enough uranium to make a critical mass and then you need some kind of launch system.
“And this building up a critical mass of uranium and processing it is very intensive and it requires significant factory space. And so all of that is observable and takes a long time to put together,” Assange said.
“The spread of nuclear weapons, first of all, is hard and secondly, detectable.
“Now if we look at the case of the CIA’s cyber weapons, they can spread around the world in seconds. Their possession is completely undetectable. You can’t tell if someone’s got them,” he said.
“And you can’t even tell who is it that is using them. So cyber weapons are a serious proliferation risk.
“And if you construct an enormous stockpile of them, because they are just information, inevitably, that information will spread,” Assange said.
“In fact, in order to use these weapons, which the CIA uses all the time, you have to place them on the internet, because that’s how most of them attack their targets by spreading over the internet.
“So when you attack a target with a cyber weapon, physically, you are giving the cyber weapon to the target because you are putting it onto their computer to infect their computer,” Assange said.