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Three undersea cables damaged five times

According to the Khaleej Times online, three undersea cables have been damaged in five places in the past two weeks.The SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) cable, the internet spine serving much of Asia, was damaged near Penang, and also near Alexandria, Khaleej Times reports.
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

According to the Khaleej Times online, three undersea cables have been damaged in five places in the past two weeks.

The SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) cable, the internet spine serving much of Asia, was damaged near Penang, and also near Alexandria, Khaleej Times reports.

The FLAG Europe-Asia undersea cable was damaged near Alexandria, and also near the Dubai coast.

The FALCON cable near Bandar Abbas in Iran was damaged in January.

Mahesh Jaishanker, an executive director for UAE telecoms provider du, told the Khaleej Times: "The submarine cable cuts in FLAG Europe-Asia cable 8.3km away from Alexandria, Egypt and SeaMeWe-4 affected at least 60 million users in India, 12 million in Pakistan, six million in Egypt and 4.7 million in Saudi Arabia."

Iran has lost internet connectivity for one router serving Tehran, according to the Internet Traffic Report site. Web monitoring firm Renesys reported on Sunday that Iran had not completely lost all connectivity, but had suffered a 20 percent loss of bandwidth.

The breaks in SeaMeWe-4 and FLAG near Alexandria were initially blamed on a ships anchor being dragged across them. However, the Press Association reported on Monday that Egypt's Ministry of Communications said that no ships were present when the two marine cables were severed.

Security expert Bruce Schneier wrote in his blog on Tuesday that while he had heard "no official reports of malice", that there had been so many breaks in such a short space of time seemed "an awfully big coincidence".

"A fifth cut?" wrote Schneier. "What the hell is going on out there?"

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