Call it the ultimate rage quit. Somebody is going around and cutting fiber optic cables all over Northern California leading to major internet disruptions in the area. What's more, these attacks have been going on for at least a year. It's become so serious that the FBI is now involved in the case.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.