California Cable Cuts Draw In the FBI

July 1st, 2015 by · Leave a Comment

According to various reports, the FBI has been brought in to investigate cable cuts in California.  Apparently, yesterday there were three cases of deliberately damaged cables starting before dawn in the San Francisco Bay area, striking routes operated by both Level 3 and Zayo.

The bad news: these attacks appear to be coordinated and may represent an escalation of several prior incidents.  That sounds like someone with a plan to disrupt, the patience to carry it out over many months, and the stealth to do it without being spotted.  Whether the perpetrators are locally grown or imported, it sounds like trouble.

The good news: while some lost service, even with multiple cable cuts the effects the perpetrators have managed to generate have been decidedly local, in this case pieces of suburban Sacramento.  How many simultaneous cable cuts would it take to make a real dent in the national infrastructure we now depend so much on?  More than the alarmists might have said yesterday, it seems.

Still, it takes far more than a vague fiber map to find a fiberoptic cable to cut and to gain access to it without being spotted.  Whoever is doing this is not your garden-variety criminal, but someone who knows the sector.  Perhaps they’ll call in the BAU of Criminal Minds to profile the culprits…  Actually, I’ll bet some screenwriter a few hundred miles south wrote that one last night.

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Categories: Fiber Networks

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