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FBI investigating 11 attacks on fiber optic cables in Northern California

By Dirk Libbey
Jul 1, 2015
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  1. [parsehtml]<p><img alt="fbi northern california internet san francisco broadband" src="http://www.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2015/07/2015-07-01-image-15.jpg" /></p> <p>Call it the ultimate rage quit. Somebody is going around and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/06/30/california-internet-outage/29521335/">cutting fiber optic cables</a> all over Northern California leading to major internet disruptions in the area. What&#39;s more, these attacks have been going on for at least a year. It&#39;s become so serious that the FBI is now involved in the case.</p> <p>While most of the attacks have been centered around the San Francisco Bay Area, the most recent attack, which occurred Tuesday morning, impacted customers in and around Sacramento. The cables in question were owned by two Colorado based providers, Level 3 and Zayo.</p> <p>The FBI can trace this string of attacks back to at least July 6, 2014 according to Special Agent Greg Wuthrich. The attacks are generally occurring in remote areas that are not monitored by security cameras. Because of the potential difficulty involved in accessing the cables there is the possibility the culprit (or culprits) are in possession of the specialized tools that people who work on the cables would have.</p> <p>Luckily, due to existing backup systems, many customers may not be cut off from the internet completely, instead simply dealing with slower than normal service.</p> <p>Nobody is commenting, due to the ongoing investigation, so we have no real idea what the motives behind these attacks could be. While this could be a disgruntled ex-employee of an ISP it could also be something simple, like an extreme form of vandalism.</p> <p>Regardless, there is cause for concern. If these cables, which are necessary for millions of people to do their work each day, are easily damaged it raises serious issues in regards to the security of a major part of our modern infrastructure.</p> <p class="grey">Image credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-487144p1.html">bikeriderlondon</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-154436249.html">Shutterstock</a></p><p><a rel='alternate' href='http://www.techspot.com/news/61199-fbi-investigating-11-attacks-fiber-optic-cables-northern.html' target='_blank'>Permalink to story.</a></p><p class='permalink'><a rel='alternate' href='http://www.techspot.com/news/61199-fbi-investigating-11-attacks-fiber-optic-cables-northern.html'>http://www.techspot.com/news/61199-fbi-investigating-11-attacks-fiber-optic-cables-northern.html</a></p>[/parsehtml]
     
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,153   +1,424

    Local were-rabbit?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
    Hexic and gingerbill like this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,492   +2,043

    It's a sad state of affairs and I hope the culprit/s are apprehended soon. Sadly us Africans know all about cable theft, it's part and parcel of everyday life here.
     
  4. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,621   +376

    Fibre optic cable is pretty worthless compared to copper. Seems more like pure vandalism rather than something with direct economic benefits. Maybe indirect like helping the competition?
     
  5. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Addict Posts: 227   +50

    That's a scummy thing to do.
     
  6. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    All them 3-letter agencies are worried about their data collection not being up to snuff. Or did you guys think they care about the all those people without/slow internet? lol
     
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,554   +2,897

    Only a competitor would want fiber lines destroyed. No customer in their right mind would want this.
     
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,038   +269

    I think if you saw the comparison between the size of the copper cable and the size of a fiber optic cable required to carry the same amount of data, your opinion might be changed. One can see such an exhibit at the Corning Museum of Glass.

    Consider that the mistake here is the trust placed in the rest of the human race when these fiber optic cables were laid in ways that made them easily accessible to other human beings.
     
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,492   +2,043

    The thing here is that fibre optic cable has no monetary value to thieves because they can't resell it. Scrap dealers pay around $7 per kilo for copper though.
     

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