Fourth cable cut in Mideast

Fourth cable cut in Mideast

Summary: On top of the news today that yet another cable has been broken connecting the Mideast to the rest of the world we learn that the first two cables were not cut by ships dragging their anchors.According to at least one report an Egyptian ministry examined 24 hour surveillance cameras and found:The transport ministry added that footage recorded by onshore video cameras of the location of the cables showed no maritime traffic in the area when the cables were damaged.


On top of the news today that yet another cable has been broken connecting the Mideast to the rest of the world we learn that the first two cables were not cut by ships dragging their anchors.

According to at least one report an Egyptian ministry examined 24 hour surveillance cameras and found:

The transport ministry added that footage recorded by onshore video cameras of the location of the cables showed no maritime traffic in the area when the cables were damaged.

Something mighty strange going on here.

Update 2-7-08: See Dick Clarke's response to my questions on these cable outages.

Topics: Telcos, Hardware, Mobility, Networking

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  • US installing interception equipment.

    Now it comes out. There were [b]no[/b] ships around that area, but the cables were mysteriously cut because of ship's anchors? Anyone with even a 2-digit IQ would realise this is the US getting their hands on it to install surveillance gear.
    • Make stuff up much?

      My guess would be yes. Anyone with a 1-digit IQ would realize that you do not need to cut a cable to tap the information transmitted thru it.
      • Have you ever worked with fiber optic cables?

        Have you ever worked with fiber optic networks? I've been in that line since 1994 (my job was installing and securing those networks), and I challenge you to show me a foolproof way of tapping into FO cables without getting actual access to the cables.
        • Bend couplers etc.

          I mean, yes, you can think of stuff like bend couplers etc, but you're talking power losses, and in small cables you're talking 1dB losses. However this is pretty much unfeasible for the kind of backbone trunk cables there.

          We've also seen cases of people removing a little of the cable's coating and intercepting the leaked light via another specially coupled fiber link.

          That too won't work with the kind of volumes we're talking about here.
        • It has to revert to copper someplace

          which would be a logical place to intercept data. Once the cable is cut you now leave a tell tale sign of tampering, plus any device on the cable could be quickly seen and removed.

          Is it really that easy to cut and splice a device into delicate fiber optic cable underwater?
        • I have

          Yes, I have and it's absolutely moronic to try to intercept data via any kind of cable under water when it's so much easier to compromise the router at the end-point. Also, as others have pointed out, equipment on cables, especially in places where it doesn't belong, will be found easily. Adding lines of code to a router update so that traffic is duplicated surreptitiously seems far more likely to succeed to me.
          Or, is that just what "they" want me to think?
          • "They"

            Anyone seen pictures of the supposedly cut lines? any hard evidence that the lines
            are in fact cut? perhaps its the infamous "they" just feeding us all information
            thats false while "they" use the network for their own uses. Now of course I'm
            kidding, sort of, you never know. governments are sketchy bastards...especially
            the us gov't. think about the posibilities of a connection like that. a pair of
            >500Gbps lines completely dedicated....thats a crazy amount of bandwidth.
            bwahahahahaha....ya no idea.
            NamelessFor Now
    • Doubt it

      I would agree it's sabotage, but blaming the US crazy.
    • So..

      there were no ships shown on the video but the US was able to get a rig over there that would allow people to work on those cables in a dry area? If they cut those cables in the water, then the water would wick up that fiber very quick making them useless.

      Also, when someone other than the US goes to investigate, they would find this equipment.
      Patrick Jones
      • You have it all wrong

        BushCo have invented secret technologies that allow invisible ships to move on the
        ocean surface. Haliburton I, the flagship of this invisible fleet raised and cut the cable
        to prevent India from discovering that BushCo was planning to invade them next
        because racist Republican NeoCons think Indians have greasy skin and so are a good
        oil supply.

        I read it all on and the Ron Paul web site, so it is true!
    • Given all the jobs US corporations have moved into the area,

      doesn't it seem a tad STUPID for the United States to be behind this cable cutting scheme?

      Forgive me. I have a 3 digit IQ; I typically cannot comprehend what most with a 2-digit IQ must surely take for granted...
  • RE: Fourth cable cut in Mideast

    Is it coincidence this happens a few days after the U.S government announce "Afcyber" or just bad luck on their part? You decide.
    • You're trying to relate a new command to cutting cables??

      Lemme get this straight - you're trying to relate establishing an Air Force command with cutting underseas cables??

      If you wanted a good coincidence story to choose out of the millions of things that happen every day, you should've at least chosen something from the Navy or the Marines.

      Good grief. I vote you're crazy.
  • RE: Fourth cable cut in Mideast

    I would say that it could be the US installing evesdropping equipment, but I doubt if that would result in 4 cables being cut. More likely is that someone is planning something and does't want the news to get out. The most likely someones - those with the technical ability and the desire to control the news would be the US and Isreal.
    • Absolutely.

      Absolutely possible. The US and Israel work very closely together on many defense aspects, you can't rule out these two countries working together on this even, given the nature of the operation.
    • RE: Fourth cable cut in Mideast

      That doesn't ring true to me. There are so many media outlets nowadays - the word of any major event would surely get out instantly, by TV, radio, telephone, and even internet (service hasn't been lost, just slowed to most regions.)
    • come at it from the opposing angle

      If I were a terrorist planning a major attack operation, and I used the internet to coordinate resources, and I further knew that the US used the internet to monitor my activity and communication (my terrorist communication bottleneck is the cable, and where the US filters information - no need for the US to use a line splice, the NSA just listens on the router at the other end in Italy under provisions of the NATO treaty) - so what is a terrorist to do. The terrorist cuts the cable to defeat the listening operation of the NSA. I don't need global connections - just regional - to send out attack traffic and pass command sequences. When the cable is restored, the NSA will be listening for old traffic, old key words, and the information will be stale - as all contacts will be using new contact information, and new cypher keys.

      For this reason, I expect that the US or other country will experience a major incident very shortly. I expect the attack vector to be from the Near East, and may involve maritime assets.

      Has anyone counted Iranian submarine's lately? I bet - if you do, you'll see a couple have been sent to Germany for depot maintenance (battery replacements), and I bet that their course of travel was thru the Suez.

      It's more likely to be an Iranian operation to frustrate US intelligence.

      Of course, it could also be the US trying to frustrate foreign intelligence communications as well, but I think we have a greater interest in KNOWING who, when, where, how - and cutting a cable defeats that ability.
      • I think you have hit right on it

        I think this is just "terrorist training". Next they try the tactic on western undersea lines.
    • That suggests India isn't capable.

      I thought all the jobs were going over there because they were smarter than everyone else...

      Something probably is going on, but I sure as hell doubt the US behind it.

      Iran has more to gain by cutting - most of the region has been hit, including India and other purported allies where we are offshoring jobs to. ;) (last I recall, fewer in India want to trade w/ the US dollar but don't mind taking more jobs, which in turn tarnishes the dollar...)
      • offshored jobs in India

        Ever worked on a project where the teams were mostly offshored to India? Then you know they aren't smarter, they can't speak English, they are not loyal employees, and they couldn't 'support' their way out of a wet paper sack.

        Now offshore teams in the Philippines, that's another story! You want a failed project? Go to India. Looking for successful projects? Makati City.