It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
Undersea cable owners still won't speculate on cause of cable cuts
Reports are coming in this morning that a fifth undersea fiber optic cable was severed in the Middle East. However, by several accounts, the fifth cable cut is actually a second cut on a different segment of the FALCON cable. How exactly these cables are being cut is still unknown, though Egyptian officials maintain a ship didn’t cause the breakages near the port of Alexandria.
Originally posted by pavil
Does seem odd, perfect cover for putting some type of tracking/eavesdropping object on those newly "repaired" cables.
Originally posted by oLDWoRLDDiSoRDeR
Maybe is USO's . I wouldn't think they would have much regard for our stuff.
Could be any # of fish i would guess. Why not put some cameras around the breaks and see what if anything come swimming by?
Transatlantic cables of the 19th century consisted of an outer layer of iron and later steel wire, wrapping India rubber, wrapping gutta-percha, which surrounded a multi-stranded copper wire at the core. The portions closest to each shore landing had additional protective armor wires. Gutta-percha, a natural polymer similar to rubber, had nearly ideal properties for insulating submarine cables, with the exception of a rather high dielectric constant which made cable capacitance high. Gutta-percha was not replaced as a cable insulation until polyethylene was introduced in the 1930s. Gutta-percha was so critical to communications that in the 1920s the American military experimented with rubber-insulated cables, since American interests controlled significant supplies of rubber but no gutta-percha manufacturers.
Originally posted by MikeboydUS
I personally think if terrorists were suspected of doing this, it would be all over the news.
From the way people are acting about it, I figure its something else and they may be afraid to even speculate or tell the media what may be responsible.
These fiber optic networks offer a number of security advantages over satellite communications. Fiber optic cables are thought to be much harder to “eavesdrop” (Mandell, 2000) on than satellites and have more dependable installation and repair practices (Mandell, 2000). However, those fiber optic cables are in many ways significantly more vulnerable than is commonly thought. Submarine cables already face many man-made and natural dangers. Anchors dropped from ships and dredging fishing nets are two of the most common (McClelland, 2000; ICPC, 1996). The occasionally volatile nature of the seabed can expose a previously buried segment of cable (ICPC, 1996). Between 1985 and 1987, AT&T found that its first deep-sea submarine fiber optic cable (laid between the Canary Islands, Grand Canaria and Tenerife) suffered periodic outages because of frequent attacks of the Pseudocarcharias kamoharai, or crocodile shark, on the cables.2 In deep ocean, the cables often lie unprotected on the ocean floor; cables in areas closer to the shore, where seabed activity might include fishing, are usually both armored and buried some two to three feet deep in the ocean floor (ICPC, 1996). The cables need only be bent to suffer significant damage (ICPC, 1996).3
In particular, the ability of overseas firms to get reliable, real-time data regarding U.S. markets—and vice versa—could be substantially curtailed, potentially sparking a panic. In addition, an increasing amount of U.S. military communications occurs over these commercial networks. Disruption could significantly impede these communications. In all cases, of course, action would be taken to shift transmissions from the disrupted networks to other cables and satellite transmissions. But, as discussed above, the current satellite capacity is far exceeded by bandwidth demand. As we will see below, this problem becomes even more marked when examining the case of an island, such as Taiwan.
Because it would be unlikely for an isolated nautical event—a sudden shift in the seabed on which the cables rest, for instance, or an inadvertent break caused by a fishing net or a ship’s anchor—to affect both cables, the systems are thought of as secure (Williams, 2000).
In most industry publications, however, little attention is given to the possibility of deliberate attack on the fiber optic network. Indeed, one of the few discussions of the possibility says simply that “while undersea cables could be cut, the practice of burying the in-shore segments makes this difficult; the mid-ocean portions are hard to find without a map and help from shore-based monitoring stations” (Mandell, 2000).