Three divers arrested for attempting to cut submarine Internet cable

By on March 28, 2013, 8:30 AM

Three scuba divers have been arrested for attempting to cut an underwater Internet cable according to Egyptian military spokesperson Ahmed Mohammed Ali. The suspects were trying to sabotage the line from a fishing boat roughly 820 yards from Alexandria and appear to have been at least somewhat successful as Internet speeds in the region are now reportedly slower than usual.

The men were tampering with the SEA-ME-WE 4 set of lines belonging to Telecom Egypt, one of the main lines feeding the Mediterranean. News of the attack coincides with reports from cable operator Seacom that several lines between Africa, parts of Asia, Europe and the Middle East were affected. Cables in this region are responsible for more than 75 percent of traffic between the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

Most submarine cables are only about three inches thick and contain just a few optic fibers yet they are still able to transfer data between 40Gbps to 10Tbps – a figure that will only increase with time. Submarine cables in general date back to the 1860s with the first transpacific cables having been laid in the early 1900s.

The extent of the damage is not clear at this hour nor do we have a motive to go on. What’s more, it remains to be seen if this attack is related to recent issues with other underwater Internet cables. The men are in custody so with any luck, we’ll get some answers sooner rather than later.




User Comments: 9

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1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Wow. They must've taken 'phishing' literally. I wonder why no one explained the difference to them.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I would love to hear what possible explanation they come up with, What reason do they have for cutting internet lines?

"so why did you try and cut those lines?"

"eerrrmm, I saw a cat dressed as Hitler on the internet, it offended me so I tried to cut the internet off..."

2 people like this | Guest said:

There is no way that those divers were not working for some government.

psycros psycros said:

There is no way that those divers were not working for some government.

This kind of undeclared warfare started in the early 2000's but largely died down for the better part of a decade. Two years ago it started becoming a regular occurrence again. Fingers have quietly been pointed at both Russia and Iran.

Timonius Timonius said:

Interesting. If a line were cut/broken can they actually tell where the exact break is? Otherwise it seems very difficult to police such a thing, especially in the case of the pacific cables.

Tygerstrike said:

820 yards off shore. So about a half a mile at best. What makes me laugh is this, Who benifits from this action. Who does it hurt. Well it benifits anyone who wants to control the information in the area. Who suffers?? Well that would be the good ppl of egypt. So this looks more like damage control then any actual sabatoge. Logic dictates (I know, that pesky logic) that the information as to the exact location around a half a mile out into the ocean of a roughly 3 inch cable line had to come from somewhere internally within Egypts own govt. Sounds to me as if Egypt is about to have another uprising. One someone doesnt want the world to see. This is concerning as we as a society and as a species rely on the non stop info to keep informed. If someone was cutting WEB access then someone wants to do something in or to Egypt that they dont want the rest of the world to see.

Nima304 said:

Interesting. If a line were cut/broken can they actually tell where the exact break is? Otherwise it seems very difficult to police such a thing, especially in the case of the pacific cables.

There are ways to tell how long a cable is using simple testing utilities. They could go to one of the routers and figure out how long the cable is from that router, thus telling them exactly where it had been cut.

JC713 JC713 said:

Haha this is hilarious

Buster Keaton Buster Keaton said:

Haha this is hilarious

Yep, sure is hilarious. Until YOUR access goes down because of it.

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