John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Architeuthis TCP/IP Strikes Again!

architeuthistcpip.jpg

Undersea Internet cable damage is hardly unusual, but four five cables severed in one week? Seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? Last Wednesday, two cables in the Mediterranean were cut, disrupting Internet traffic from Egypt to India. On Friday, a third cable was cut, this one in the Persian Gulf, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Then a fourth cable, also off the coast of the UAE, has been compromised.

Initially, authorities thought that a wayward ship might have cut the cables with its anchor, but that theory was dismissed by the Egyptian government over the weekend. Turns out there were no ships in the area at the time the cables were severed. “The ministry’s maritime transport committee reviewed footage covering the period of 12 hours before and 12 hours after the cables were cut and no ships sailed the area,” Egypt’s transport ministry explained. “The area is also marked on maps as a no-go zone and it is therefore ruled out that the damage to the cables was caused by ships.”

So what caused it? A submarine? An unseen enemy? The NSA? Or something far more sinister … Architeuthis TCP/IP?

UPDATE Feb. 5: Looks like the fourth cable may not have been cut, but taken offline.

UPDATE Feb. 5: Khaleej Times reports that a fifth cable has been damaged.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik