The NSA wants the military to take cyber vulnerabilities seriously. Almost all American weapons, with the exception of small arms and crew-served weapons (like machine guns), include built-in computer systems. The computers add functionality, including fire control (correcting and adjusting aim against distant or fast-moving targets), navigation (receiving GPS signals), and communications (voice and data transmission). These computers often tie into large, sometimes globe-spanning networks to issue orders, collect data, report enemy sightings, and even coordinate attack or defense among geographically disparate forces. In a world where the Pentagon wants advanced weapons that can wirelessly transfer data to one another, nearly all of them rely on computers, networks, and data links that hackers could exploit.

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