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By James Eng

Many countries are leaving themselves wide open to cyber attacks on their nuclear facilities, a watchdog group reports.

The analysis by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, released Thursday, finds that 20 nations with atomic materials or nuclear plants do not have a single legal or regulatory requirement in place to protect their facilities from cyber attacks. Iran, North Korea, China and Indonesia were among those on the list.

Of the two-dozen countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials, only nine received the maximum score on cybersecurity.

Related: Nuclear Computers Especially Vulnerable as Cyber Attacks Rise, Watchdog Says

"The current global nuclear security system has dangerous gaps that prevent it from being truly comprehensive and effective," NTI President Joan Rohlfing said in a press release. "Until those gaps are closed, terrorists will seek to exploit them."

The report comes ahead of the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, a gathering of world leaders and international organizations aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism, scheduled for March 31 through April 1 in Washington.

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