The possibility of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, where a nuclear device is programmed to produce an electromagnetic wave with such force to destroy electronic systems, has plagued mankind since the Cold War, according to the Center for Security Policy.
However fresh fears have emerged that North Korea could be the one to launch such an attack following its hydrogen bomb claim and its firing of a rocket just days ago.
Henry Cooper, a director at the think tank Foundation for Resilient Societies, said: “The technology of building a super EMP weapon is understood and at least by circumstantial evidence… the North Koreans know how to do it.”
While last month’s apparent hydrogen bomb test was met with scepticism from the US, who could not verify the claims from North Korea, Mr Cooper said “there is no good reason” to dismiss the threat of an EMP.
Labelling North Korea as “an essential threat”, he argued that an EMP attack could be triggered by a low-yield hydrogen weapon.
Last October it was announced the US government was preparing for the event of a catastrophic solar flare, which can cause the same damage as an EMP attack.
Experts fear the effects of a powerful geomagnetic solar storm could be devastating for our technology obsessed planet, with some saying it could render mobile phones, credit cards and the internet useless.
Scientists are now predicting a 12 per cent chance that another solar storm could wreak havoc on the Earth by 2022 – forcing the White House to brace for action.
The US was reported to be preparing a contingency plan in the form of a space weather action scheme, which will be drawn up and put into effect in the event of disaster.
The threat of a solar storm was recently highlighted by a US-report, which stated that a large disaster could inflict up to £2 trillion worth of damage to key infrastructures.
The announcement came after NORAD officials urged the US to be prepared for an EMP attack.
Vincent DeVito, a former US Assistant Secretary of Energy under President George W. Bush, ranked the threat posed by an EMP attack as a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Both Israel and Ukraine were hit with crippling hacks against their respective power grids in recent months by supposed ransomware.