Sabotage of fiber optic cables in France disrupted the global network

Sabotage of fiber optic cables in France disrupted the global network

A preview of the terrible consequences that the massive sabotage of submarine cables could have.

On the night of October 17-18, a major fiber optic cable was cut in Bouches-du-Rhône. This is undoubtedly an act of vandalism according to Zscaler, the cybersecurity company that manages this SFR infrastructure; and this sabotage has had consequences on web connectivity around the world.

In fact, as can be seen on the map above, these cables are located upstream of another transit structure towards the submarine cable network. The latter is the backbone of the global Internet network; a strategic positioning that explains the consequences felt by some users on the other side of the planet.

In an incident report detected by Netcost Security, the company explained that “ the cut of a major cable in the south of France affected connectivity in Asia, Europe, the United States, and potentially in other parts of the world “. In practice, this has resulted in lost packet or a higher latency in the corresponding networks.

In the end, it emerged that three separate cables were cut in a relatively short period of time, information that lends even more credibility to the sabotage trail for good and simple, according to Zscaler director Jay Chaudhry, quoted by CRN. The first has already been repaired and work is apparently underway on the other two lines. The identity of the authors, on the other hand, remains unknown to this day. ; it will be necessary to wait for the conclusion of the ongoing investigations in France, but also in other affected countries according to Netcost.

Submarine infrastructures, tense of war in Urkaine?

Some saw it as a link to two other incidents that took place in the UK. Last week submarine cables were damaged in the north of the country; residents of the Faroe Islands, then Shetland, were left without a phone or internet for an extended period.

But according to the British government quoted by The Guardian, these were simply accidents. The cables in question would have been damaged by trawlers — the most frequent type of incident at these facilities. The investigations continue, but for the moment no element has been made public that establishes a link between these incidents.

This did not stop some observers from speculating, notably pointing fingers at Russia. This is probably a consequence of the characterized paranoia that surrounds the underwater installations from the sabotage of the Nord Stream.

This pipeline is at the center of a huge diplomatic recession. Several states have half the world accused the Russian government of deliberately damaging the facility within the framework of the armed struggle that opposes it to the rest of Europe. The Kremlin has denied any involvementaccusing the United States and its allies of having themselves damaged the pipeline to harm Russian interests.

So far, the investigation has not yet yielded conclusive results, or at least they have not been made public. But the incident caused a real uproar across the continent. Several countries, starting with France, have announced a significant increase in surveillance around all underwater installations, particularly those that underpin the global Internet. And this case of sabotage in France proves that this decision is justified and necessary; It gives us a small preview of the terrible consequences that a massive sabotage of submarine cables could have.

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