Story 2016-10-15 1Y71Z Russian ship suspected of tapping and disrupting Syria’s sub-sea internet cables

Russian ship suspected of tapping and disrupting Syria’s sub-sea internet cables

by
in internet on (#1Y71Z)
An internet outage expert at US internet monitor Dyn, along with several bloggers, believe that a Russian Navy spy ship may be tapping and disrupting underwater cables in the Mediterranean Sea that feed internet to Syria. While telecommunications experts argue that this isn’t likely, several factors have aligned that seem to support this theory.

In 2015 Russian Navy oceanographic vessel Yantar was suspected by US intelligence of collecting data from underwater cables in the Caribbean whilst also spying on the US nuclear submarine fleet off the coast of Cuba. Fast forward to October 2016, and that same ship is moored off the coast of Syria, amidst ongoing internet outages in the country. With a previous history of internet outages in Syria linked to combat offensives by al-Assad forces, it suggest something of a conspiratorial nature may be at hand.

Tapping an underwater cable would be no easy task. “It is technically possible to tap an optical fiber, but getting access to it on the bottom of the ocean, through the steel armoring and high voltage would be a challenge best avoided.” Still, “it does seem kind of suspicious.” Other experts suggested that instead of the Russians, it could be seismic activity to blame for the disruption, as the Eastern Mediterranean is an active seismic area.
Reply 3 comments

Are they looking for gofund me or something (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-10-16 11:44 (#1Y8QM)

I could spare a few dollars for a good cause

Challenge best avoided? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-10-17 04:11 (#1YASA)

There are entire ships designed for servicing underwater cables. Their technology isn't secret. They don't service the cable on the bottom of the ocean, they haul it up to the ship. They can tell the cable owners to turn off the power, but considering that linesmen in every city of the electrified world work on live lines as part of their job, I'm fairly certain the Russians would be able to hire one.

Re: Challenge best avoided? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-10-19 07:14 (#1YJRF)

I was under the impression that the US government had ships capable of tapping cables, if they can do it why would the Russians not be capable of it?