Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hacking for Dummies

From the San Jose Mercury News,

Santa Clara County officials have declared a local emergency after they said someone intentionally cut an underground fiber optic cable in south San Jose, causing a widespread phone service outage in southern Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties today that included disruption to 911 emergency phone service.

John Britton, a spokesman for AT&T, said it appears somebody opened a manhole in South San Jose, climbed down eight to 10 feet and cut four or five fiber-optic cables.Britton also said there was a report of underground cables being cut in San Carlos.

Barrett Lyon of BitGravity states that the damage from these cuts included,

many people in Silicon Valley woke up without 911 service, Internet, cellular phones, and in some cases TV. Web sites were impacted and Internet traffic between a few major datacenters stopped flowing.
If cables were cut at a number strategic locations the impacts can be significant. In December 2006 a massive earthquake off the coast of Taiwan damaged multiple underseas fiber optic cables and disrupted traffic throughout Asia for days.

The apparent intentional cable cuts in San Francisco demonstrate that attacks on the cyberspace can have the same impact as the attacks in cyberspace.

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