Discussions

Whoops, Boat Anchor knocks out all Internet access for two continents

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Locked

Whoops, Boat Anchor knocks out all Internet access for two continents

robo_dev
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Large swathes of Asia, the Middle East and north Africa had their high-technology services crippled Thursday following a widespread Internet failure which brought many businesses to a standstill and left others struggling to cope.

An official at Egypt's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was believed that a boat's anchor may have caused the problems, although this was unconfirmed, AP reported. He added that it might take up to a week to repair the fault.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/01/31/dubai.outage/index.html

Comment: So our infrastructure is totally safe from attack (NOT).

While we're building concrete bunkers for our data centers, some yahoo in a fishing boat drops anchor and does billions in economic damage? What's wrong with this picture?
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    Forum Surfer

    With those guys out of the loop SPAM drops...of course Africa has huge amounts of SPAM and DDOS, too.

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    Oz_Media

    While incredibly fast, FO is also incredibly fragile. That's why just a few strands will be wrapped in steel cables, cross strand reenforcing cables and then contained in a large casing. The near dozen TAT's that run from North America's East coast to Europe are an amazing feat. They are laid by large ships who carry thousands of meters in the hold and roll them across the atlantic, setting them onto the seabed, pretty cool to see actually.

    Nearer the ports, the cables will be more accessible to ships anchors, for this reason, the ports and shorlines are all clearly marked so boats do not drop anchor in those areas where they may snag a line.

    I would question the possibility of this happening, as apparently several other reasons have come up too.

    These cables are pretty well made, and use reverse direction protection switching in case a few strands are damaged. Perhaps why they still have some service but it is greatly hindered.

    What's even worse than that is the land cables. Land cables are buried a few inches underground besides railroad tracks. A derailment could potentially take out huge chunks of North America. Though tracks are rpetty closely monitored these days, someone could effortlessly trench a cable beside a track and damage it on purpose.

    This is also why most railroad companies have a strong stake in communications these days. In Canada there were a few major telecom players who were owned and operated by the Crown's railroads.

    Great technology, but not infalible.

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    Ed Woychowsky

    A place where I worked lost half of an automated teller machine network due to a dug-up fiber line once. I stopped the operations manager just before he told the Senior VP that it would be fixed in less than an hour, because I had just gotten off the phone with a friend at AT&T who said that they couldn?t find the break. The operations manager told the Senior VP that AT&T couldn?t say how long it would take.

    It ended-up taking about twelve hours; the backhoe operated realized that he had dug-up something important. So, he re-buried the cable, put the backhoe back on a flatbed and took everything back to his company?s lot. The field techs had to actually walk the length of the break to find it, from Newark New Jersey to Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

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    Oz_Media

    They use Sonnet loop technology, it is redundant and self healing. If a cable is broken, it takes them a click of a mouse to pinpoint it with GPS, send out a crew and done deal.

    I THINK it was Sprint Canada that did the first one (after Canadian LD was deregulated), Toronto to US corridor cost 240+ million for one loop, DAMN! and they offer it cheaper than it used otbe with a monopoly on copper!

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    CharlieSpencer

    Millions celebrate as Nigeria, China go off line.

    Hey, I can dream, can't I?

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    jdclyde

    the former soviet block....

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    Oz_Media

    as the broken TAT has been effecting Dubai the worst, all the NOrth american companies that ave outsourced to india are effected.

    Visa/MC customer service, network and PC support desks etc. Man, what nightmare!

    So when cutting off others, we must first take in just how reliant on them we are.

    Take down some third world countries and down go all the porn sites, 900 lines etc.

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    The Scummy One

    just how much of the industry should come back to N.A.!

    I am not saying all of it needs to, but enough to overcome obsticles such as this.

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    Oz_Media

    I really do understand the frustration with jobs being lost to overseas companies, however there is, what I feel is, a legitimate reason.

    Companies always say it's for cost savings, and then everyone complains that companies are out to gain more money. In many cases it's fight or flight survival, the company cannot afford to employ a North American workforce and sustain competitive pricing as well. In this case there are two realistic scenarios, one where the company seeks lower cost employment elsewhere or two where they can't afford to compete, lose revenue and customers to competitors, resulting in layoffs, buyouts by the superior performing company or simply closing the doors. In either case, jobs are lost to offer lower cost services.

    When the bank is forced lower interest rates, free banking services etc. They have to compensate by having that customer service in India (as an example).

    One way around this is for North American consumers to buy North american products only, which will force the work back here, except then people will complain of high prices again. It's a lose lose situation.
    (in Canada, WalMart doesn't do as well for this reason, they aren't really cheaper than the local stores they forced out of business)
    Seeing as most people here wouldn't stick to such an idea, as they prefer cheaper prices, stores like WalMart generally excel and can actuallly stay in business despite their absolutely horrific business practices. "But my shoes were nearly $2 cheaper than the local mom and pop shop" They take the business, ma and pa go out of business and are forced to also shop at WalMart because they can't afford anything else. This perpetuates overseas manufacturing, exploitation of foreign and North Americans alike. Yet they keep getting more and more support, opening more and more stores etc.

    unfortunately, cheap consumers and zealous trading politicians built this market, not the providing companies seekig not remain competitive.

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    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    one of our helpdesks at Puerto Rico, and it was decent enough (for the most part), and it costed less than American or Canadian helpdesks. Notice I said N. America, not US or Canada!
    I also did not state that all of these jobs should need to come back, but I do think that some should.
    However, you took my underlying meaning better, as I do think that the majority should be brought back to the mainland because too much moved away too quickly.

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    Forum Surfer

    How much bandwidth and resources across ISP's and the internet in general in the good ol USA would be free if access to porn sites were shut down in some freak accident like this?

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    LOL

    The Scummy One

    well, probably at least 40% of traffic would need to be re-routed to alternate sites. However, after so many 404's, my guess would be that a large portion of people would go offline...

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    tonoohay

    Just incase you seek other stuff on this very bazzar chain of events.
    No of us really believe in this many accidents?

    http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/tech-news/?p=2035
    Severed submarine cables knock out Internet access to tens of millions
    Date: January 30th, 2008
    Author: Paul Mah

  • +
    0 Votes
    Forum Surfer

    With those guys out of the loop SPAM drops...of course Africa has huge amounts of SPAM and DDOS, too.

    +
    0 Votes
    Oz_Media

    While incredibly fast, FO is also incredibly fragile. That's why just a few strands will be wrapped in steel cables, cross strand reenforcing cables and then contained in a large casing. The near dozen TAT's that run from North America's East coast to Europe are an amazing feat. They are laid by large ships who carry thousands of meters in the hold and roll them across the atlantic, setting them onto the seabed, pretty cool to see actually.

    Nearer the ports, the cables will be more accessible to ships anchors, for this reason, the ports and shorlines are all clearly marked so boats do not drop anchor in those areas where they may snag a line.

    I would question the possibility of this happening, as apparently several other reasons have come up too.

    These cables are pretty well made, and use reverse direction protection switching in case a few strands are damaged. Perhaps why they still have some service but it is greatly hindered.

    What's even worse than that is the land cables. Land cables are buried a few inches underground besides railroad tracks. A derailment could potentially take out huge chunks of North America. Though tracks are rpetty closely monitored these days, someone could effortlessly trench a cable beside a track and damage it on purpose.

    This is also why most railroad companies have a strong stake in communications these days. In Canada there were a few major telecom players who were owned and operated by the Crown's railroads.

    Great technology, but not infalible.

    +
    0 Votes
    Ed Woychowsky

    A place where I worked lost half of an automated teller machine network due to a dug-up fiber line once. I stopped the operations manager just before he told the Senior VP that it would be fixed in less than an hour, because I had just gotten off the phone with a friend at AT&T who said that they couldn?t find the break. The operations manager told the Senior VP that AT&T couldn?t say how long it would take.

    It ended-up taking about twelve hours; the backhoe operated realized that he had dug-up something important. So, he re-buried the cable, put the backhoe back on a flatbed and took everything back to his company?s lot. The field techs had to actually walk the length of the break to find it, from Newark New Jersey to Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

    +
    0 Votes
    Oz_Media

    They use Sonnet loop technology, it is redundant and self healing. If a cable is broken, it takes them a click of a mouse to pinpoint it with GPS, send out a crew and done deal.

    I THINK it was Sprint Canada that did the first one (after Canadian LD was deregulated), Toronto to US corridor cost 240+ million for one loop, DAMN! and they offer it cheaper than it used otbe with a monopoly on copper!

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Millions celebrate as Nigeria, China go off line.

    Hey, I can dream, can't I?

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    the former soviet block....

    +
    0 Votes
    Oz_Media

    as the broken TAT has been effecting Dubai the worst, all the NOrth american companies that ave outsourced to india are effected.

    Visa/MC customer service, network and PC support desks etc. Man, what nightmare!

    So when cutting off others, we must first take in just how reliant on them we are.

    Take down some third world countries and down go all the porn sites, 900 lines etc.

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    just how much of the industry should come back to N.A.!

    I am not saying all of it needs to, but enough to overcome obsticles such as this.

    +
    0 Votes
    Oz_Media

    I really do understand the frustration with jobs being lost to overseas companies, however there is, what I feel is, a legitimate reason.

    Companies always say it's for cost savings, and then everyone complains that companies are out to gain more money. In many cases it's fight or flight survival, the company cannot afford to employ a North American workforce and sustain competitive pricing as well. In this case there are two realistic scenarios, one where the company seeks lower cost employment elsewhere or two where they can't afford to compete, lose revenue and customers to competitors, resulting in layoffs, buyouts by the superior performing company or simply closing the doors. In either case, jobs are lost to offer lower cost services.

    When the bank is forced lower interest rates, free banking services etc. They have to compensate by having that customer service in India (as an example).

    One way around this is for North American consumers to buy North american products only, which will force the work back here, except then people will complain of high prices again. It's a lose lose situation.
    (in Canada, WalMart doesn't do as well for this reason, they aren't really cheaper than the local stores they forced out of business)
    Seeing as most people here wouldn't stick to such an idea, as they prefer cheaper prices, stores like WalMart generally excel and can actuallly stay in business despite their absolutely horrific business practices. "But my shoes were nearly $2 cheaper than the local mom and pop shop" They take the business, ma and pa go out of business and are forced to also shop at WalMart because they can't afford anything else. This perpetuates overseas manufacturing, exploitation of foreign and North Americans alike. Yet they keep getting more and more support, opening more and more stores etc.

    unfortunately, cheap consumers and zealous trading politicians built this market, not the providing companies seekig not remain competitive.

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    one of our helpdesks at Puerto Rico, and it was decent enough (for the most part), and it costed less than American or Canadian helpdesks. Notice I said N. America, not US or Canada!
    I also did not state that all of these jobs should need to come back, but I do think that some should.
    However, you took my underlying meaning better, as I do think that the majority should be brought back to the mainland because too much moved away too quickly.

    +
    0 Votes
    Forum Surfer

    How much bandwidth and resources across ISP's and the internet in general in the good ol USA would be free if access to porn sites were shut down in some freak accident like this?

    +
    0 Votes

    LOL

    The Scummy One

    well, probably at least 40% of traffic would need to be re-routed to alternate sites. However, after so many 404's, my guess would be that a large portion of people would go offline...

    +
    0 Votes
    tonoohay

    Just incase you seek other stuff on this very bazzar chain of events.
    No of us really believe in this many accidents?

    http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/tech-news/?p=2035
    Severed submarine cables knock out Internet access to tens of millions
    Date: January 30th, 2008
    Author: Paul Mah