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How French Fiber Optic Cable Attacks Accentuate Critical Infrastructure Vulnerabilities

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Some of the fiber optic cables discovered cut in France Wednesday, prompting a criminal investigation.

Credit: Free network via Twitter

The pictures show neatly trimmed fiber optic cables dug up from underground behind what appears to be a well-hidden grate. The apparent simplicity of the sabotage is all the more harrowing in light of how extensively it disrupted Internet service in France, experts said.

A day after what French telecom companies are calling a large-scale coordinated attack which destroyed a large number of fiber optic cables powering the French internet, authorities there are investigating the attacks as a criminal act.

The Wednesday incident disrupted Internet service throughout France, and those responsible seem to have known how to do as much damage as possible. The Associated Press reported that the French internal intelligence service has joined the investigation, a development which it called "unusual."

"The cables were cut on both sides to complicate the repairs," an 'operator' told newspaper Le Parisien. "The urgency is to re-solder everything, this represents tens of thousands of small, fibre-optic cables."


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