Enemy action?

A third underwater data cable has now been severed:

A submarine cable in the Middle East has been snapped, adding to global net problems caused by breaks in two lines under the Mediterranean on Wednesday.

The Falcon cable, owned by a firm that operates one of the previously damaged cables, was snapped on Friday morning.

The cause of the latest break has not been confirmed but a repair ship has been deployed, said owner Flag Telecom.

Following the earlier break internet services were severely disrupted in Egypt, the Middle East and India.

There was disruption to 70% of the nationwide internet network in Egypt on Wednesday, while India suffered up to 60% disruption.

One’s tempted to quote Goldfinger: “”They have a saying in Chicago: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”

It’s probably just an accident, but repairs will will take a week or more and Richard Stiennon, who points out that “anchors have an uncanny way of finding cables just as backhoes are the bane of terrestrial fiber”, warns of possible cascading failure:

What if US oil and gas companies that have operations in the Mideast put some back up services there? What if another coincidence shuts down a data center in the US and the backups cannot occur in time because of unreachable storage devices? What about all the “Business Process Outsourcing” handled in India? Try telling Dell, or Microsoft, both companies that rely on Indian support services, that “most of our content is here”.

The US has had its own problems. Backhoes have taken out big chunks of the Internet. Routing flaps, bad route announcements, attacks on Cisco vulnerabilities could all impair our beloved Internet.

It’s one ‘Net now. Anyone relying on the Internet for their business has to be concerned about its inherent vulnerability and prepare for it as best they may.

Further reading: As I recall Space Wars: The First Hours of World War III starts out with a few severed undersea cables… things then get a lot worse.