A hotline between the United States and Russia designed to defuse misunderstandings that could trigger a nuclear conflict will likely expand to cover the potential risk of a cyber war, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Under a proposal being negotiated with Moscow, the digital sphere would be added to topics covered by the Washington-Moscow hotline, the Post wrote, citing U.S. officials.
The hotline’s official name is the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, which was set up in 1988 under president Ronald Reagan to allow Washington and Moscow to inform each other of missile tests or rocket launches that could be mistaken as hostile acts.
An agreement making the change could be ready within several weeks, the Post said. The Pentagon declined to comment about the report when asked by AFP.
The proposal underscores the increasing importance of digital threats for government and military policy makers, with U.S. officials issuing warnings that a cyber attack could paralyze water, power or other vital services.