Sabotage Suspected as Telecom Cables Cut in France Disrupting Internet Access in Several Cities
© AP Photo / Charles KrupaIn this June 19, 2018, file photo a router and internet switch are displayed in East Derry, N.H. Net neutrality traces back to an engineering maxim called the “end-to-end principle,” a self-regulating network that put control in the hands of end users rather than a central authority
© AP Photo / Charles Krupa
The incident is reportedly the biggest attack on the internet infrastructure in the history of France so far. The affected internet and mobile service providers are currently working to fix the damage.
Several telecom companies in France have reported disruptions to their internet and mobile phone services after the optic cables used for data transfer were cut in several regions of the country. The attack affected the so-called "backbone" cables used to connect different regions of the country, transmitting huge amounts of data and deemed critical infrastructure.
The cuts were made to the backbone lines running between Paris and Lyon and between Paris and Strasbourg, the Telegraph reported.
At least two French telecom operators, Free and SFR, reported "fibre cuts" in the Paris and Lyon regions.
"The attacks took place overnight at 4:00 am (0200 GMT). Our teams have been at work since this morning," Free's spokesperson said.
France's Secretary of State for the Digital Sector, Cédric O, confirmed the cuts to several fibre optics cables in the Paris region. The Paris prosecutor's office has already opened the probe over suspected sabotage of the internet cables. The French internal intelligence agency DGSI will be aiding the investigation.
He added that it affected fixed and mobile services. However, Bouygues Telecom and Orange, France's biggest service provider, reported no disruptions to their services, possibly due to reliance on different cables that remained unaffected. Free and SFR said they will be moving their services to different data routes to temporarily restore functionality as their technicians are working to repair the damage to the cables.
21 February, 13:10 GMT
An anonymous security source said in an interview with the AFP that France has not faced attacks on its critical internet infrastructure of such magnitude before. The source added that Paris doesn't know at the moment who was responsible.
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