Radiation monitoring systems — from those designed to prevent the theft of nuclear materials to those that monitor leaks at power plants — have cybersecurity flaws that could be used to render them useless or incite panic, a researcher announced Wednesday. 

Ruben Santamarta, a principal security consultant at the cybersecurity firm IOActive, announced security vulnerabilities found in a variety of radiation monitoring systems. Not all of those flaws immediately appear to be repairable.

“The attacks are not easy,” he told The Hill. “I’m pretty sure only a nation-state could perform them.”

But Santamarta worried that, if a nation did use the attack, it could, for example, disrupt operations at a nuclear power plant by falsely alerting workers to a safety hazard or block a safety alert that should be issued.

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