Attackers sever fiber-optic cables in San Francisco area, latest in a string

USA Today – by Trevor Hughs

Someone deliberately severed two AT&T fiber optic cables in the Livermore, Calif. Monday night, the latest in a string of attacks against the Internet’s privately run backbone.

AT&T is offering a $250,000 reward in connection with the latest attacks. AT&T’s fiber optic network is legally considered a critical piece of the nation’s Internet infrastructure, and any attackers are subject to both state and federal prosecution. The FBI already has an open investigation into 14 similar attacks on California Internet backbones since last summer.  

Livermore is a San Francisco Bay Area suburb that’s home to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and many high-tech commuters.

“It’s a serious matter and affects public safety at large,” AT&T spokesman Jim Greersaid Tuesday.

The high-capacity lines, which aren’t much thicker than a pencil, carry vast amounts of data. Everything from phone calls to computer transactions, emails, and even the security cameras feeds watching the cables themselves travel down the plastic or glass fibers as pulses of light. The cables are the interstate highways of the information superhighway.

The FBI says whoever has been attacking the cables usually opens a underground vault, climbs inside and then cuts through the cables’ protective metal conduit before severing the lines themselves.

“It’s being taken very seriously by the FBI and our law enforcement partners,” said Michele Ernst, a spokeswoman for the bureau’s San Francisco field office.

Security experts say the attacks could be the work of a disgruntled employee or of terrorists probing the nation’s infrastructure to see how long repairs take. FBI officials say it’s possible whoever has been attacking the cables is dressed as a utility company employee.

6 thoughts on “Attackers sever fiber-optic cables in San Francisco area, latest in a string

  1. While it is ‘possible’ that this is being carried out by a disgruntled former employee or employees, if it’s being done at all it is more probable that a certain alphabet agency is promoting the activity.

  2. NO ONE would do this except the FBI. (or C.I.A./MOSSAD, etc.)

    Qui Bono?

    Political dissidents LIKE the internet, and aren’t likely to be cutting any of its cables.

    They’re preparing us for the big shut-down, and it’s anyone’s guess who they’ll blame it on. Just be ready for war when it happens, because that’s how the attack will begin.

  3. “FBI officials say it’s possible whoever has been attacking the cables is dressed as a utility company employee.”

    They would know.

    Probably just had the uniforms dry-cleaned.

  4. Guess ” Mark W ” beat me to this article submission. Not 10 minutes after I emailed the same link to Henry, my AT&T DSL went down for just over 3 hours here in San Leandro, CA / SF Bay Area. It also dropped for about 10 minutes twice yesterday. I know the day is coming when the internet will be completely taken down. Get ready . . .

  5. Looks like they are doing their damnedest to cause a power and Internet failure in California. These incidents have been going on for a while now and have mostly been occurring in California, especially in the San Francisco area and we all know that city is mostly controlled by the Chinese, too. Something’s definitely going down and I don’t mean the power and Internet.

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