Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cyber-Terrorism Knocks Out Internet and Phones in Silicon Valley

Last Thursday vandals cut through four fiber optic cables owned by AT&T, wiping out internet and phone service for much of Silicon Valley and other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. In what appears to have been a coordinated attack by tech savvy individuals, the cables were cut in the predawn hours. Internet services, cell phones, land lines, and ATMs were rendered inoperable in three northern California counties: Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. I was unable to log on to the internet at all on Thursday.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

Ten fiber-optic cables were cut at four locations in the predawn darkness. Residential and business customers quickly found that telephone service was perhaps more laced into their everyday needs than they thought. Suddenly they couldn't draw out money, send text messages, check e-mail or Web sites, call anyone for help, or even check on friends or relatives down the road.

Several people had to be driven to hospitals because they were unable to summon ambulances. Many businesses lapsed into idleness for hours, without the ability to contact associates or customers.

More than 50,000 landline customers lost service - some were residential, others were business lines that needed the connections for ATMs, Internet and bank card transactions.

This appears to have been an act of cyber-terrorism. Perhaps it was a practice run for bigger operations. If an enemy wanted to sow chaos in our society, knocking out the internet and phone lines would seem an effective strategy.

This morning all services appear to be restored and functioning.


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