Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by mrpg on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:22AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the cable-comrade?-what-cable? dept.

Russia a 'risk' to undersea cables, defence chief warns

The UK's most senior military officer has warned of a new threat posed by Russia to communications and internet cables that run under the sea. Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the chief of the defence staff, said Britain and Nato needed to prioritise protecting the lines of communication. He said it would be an "immediately and potentially catastrophic" hit to the economy if they were cut or disrupted.

The cables criss-cross the seabed, connecting up countries and continents. [...] Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute defence think tank, Sir Stuart said the vulnerability of undersea lines posed a "new risk to our way of life".

Related: Brazil, Europe Direct Cable to avoid US spying
Undersea Cables Wiring the Earth
Spies Would Need SUPER POWERS to Tap Undersea Cables.
160 Tbps Transatlantic Cable Planned
Microsoft, Facebook, and Telxius Complete 160 Tb/s Atlantic Ocean Cable


Original Submission

Related Stories

Brazil, Europe Direct Cable to avoid US spying 68 comments
c0lo writes: "Reuters reports

(Reuters) Brazil and the European Union agreed on Monday to lay an undersea communications cable from Lisbon to Fortaleza to reduce Brazil's reliance on the United States after Washington spied on Brasilia.

At a summit in Brussels, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the $185 million cable project was central to "guarantee the neutrality" of the Internet, signaling her desire to shield Brazil's Internet traffic from U.S. surveillance. According to other sources, the construction is scheduled to begin in July.

A joint venture between Brazilian telecoms provider Telebras and Spain's IslaLink Submarine Cables would lay the communications link. Telebras would have a 35 percent stake, IslaLink would have a 45 percent interest and European and Brazilian pension funds could put up the remainder.

So it has come to this"

Undersea Cables Wiring the Earth 17 comments

dotdotdot writes:

"All of the fiber-optic cables buried in the sea bed are logged by Washington research firm Telegeography in an interactive Submarine Cable Map. The company's research director Alan Mauldin told CNN about the world's underwater networks."

From the interview:

for international communications, over 99% is delivered by undersea cables.

75% of faults are due to external aggression the majority through human activity such as fishing, and ship's anchors.

There are about 13 cables in service across the Atlantic, and less than 20% of potential capacity is what we call "lit" or in service right now.

cables are designed to last for a minimum 25 years.

Once you build a cable the cost of buying capacity incrementally over time is very affordable.

The last cable across the Pacific cost $300 million; one cable that entered service last year in Asia reaching many locations cost $400 million

Spies Would Need SUPER POWERS to Tap Undersea Cables. 41 comments

The Register has found itself subject to a certain amount of criticism for this author's skepticism ( Richard Chirgwin http://www.theregister.co.uk/Author/2242 ) regarding whether the NSA has been snooping on optical fibre cables by cutting them.

Glenn Greenwald's recent “NSA cut New Zealand's cables” story is illustrative of credibility problems that surround the ongoing Edward Snowden leak stories: everybody is too willing to accept that “if it's classified, it must be because it's true”, and along the way, attribute super-powers to spy agencies.

In running the line that undersea cables were cut, Greenwald is straying far enough from what's feasible and credible that his judgement on other claims needs to be questioned. It seems to The Register almost certain that neither Glenn Greenwald nor Edward Snowden have actually held a submarine fibre cable in their hands.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/18/spies_arent_superheroes/

Do you think that it is credible that these undersea fibre cables were tapped when it is easier to tap onshore installations?

160 Tbps Transatlantic Cable Planned 17 comments

Geekwire reports on a post on Microsoft's corporate blog in which plans for a transatlantic communications cable are announced. The cable will connect Bilbao in Spain to Virginia Beach, Virginia in the USA. Construction is set to begin in August. The planned capacity of 160 Tbps would, according to the blog post, exceed that of any existing transatlantic cable. The project is to be a joint venture of Microsoft with Facebook, and is to be operated by the Telxius arm of Telefónica.

From the Geekwire article:

Microsoft and Facebook will place a cutting-edge undersea cable across the Atlantic Ocean, stretching 6,600 kilometers or more than 4,100 miles from Virginia Beach, Va., to Bilbao, Spain, capable of hurtling data under the ocean at speeds of 160 Terabits per second.

The companies say the new project, called Marea, will be the highest-capacity subsea cable ever placed across the Atlantic, the first to connect the U.S. to southern Europe. Construction will begin in August 2016, with completion scheduled for October 2017, the companies say.

"We're seeing an ever-increasing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for Microsoft cloud services, including Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Azure," said Microsoft's Frank Rey in a post announcing the plan.


Original Submission

Microsoft, Facebook, and Telxius Complete 160 Tb/s Atlantic Ocean Cable 17 comments

Microsoft, Facebook, and Telxius have completed the Marea subsea cable, which connects Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S. to Bilbao, Spain:

The Marea cable's new "open" design allows it to evolve with technology, ensuring the highest performance for users now and well into the future, even as the global population of internet users grows. And make no mistake, the demand is growing. Just think of the many high-bandwidth applications and content you use today such as Skype and Facebook Live, and the volume of streaming videos, movies and music consumed daily. This ability to interoperate with many different kinds of networking equipment brings significant benefits including lower costs and easier equipment upgrades, leading to faster growth in bandwidth rates.

Completed in less than two years — nearly three times faster than is typical — Marea is a powerful example of the important role the private sector has to play in connecting the world. It also set a new standard for subsea cables because it is designed to meet today's demand and evolve with the progress of tomorrow, allowing companies offering digital services to be better equipped to handle cross-border internet traffic, which is expected to increase eightfold by 2025.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:49AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:49AM (#610607)

    The MoD stands ready to deploy both soldiers and a heavily-armed kayak in defense of undersea cabling.

    Russia and China tremble at the awesome threat of British military power!

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:24AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:24AM (#610615)

      If they included British, US, and Chinese subs in that list of threats.

      Hint for those of you out there who don't already know this: All major players in the international espionage scene with covert undersea maritime assets use them to regularly cut undersea fiber cables in order to install taps for traffic capture/denial of service purposes.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:56AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:56AM (#610650)

        Ivy Bells! Ivy Bells! Its cut and tap time, in the intelligence community! (Don't you DARE say, "Happy Spying"!)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:59AM (#610651)

        Odd that they omitted the UK's arch enemies, France and the Argentine.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:32PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:32PM (#610768) Journal

        use them to regularly cut undersea fiber cables in order to install taps

        Not true. Makes a nice story, but its just not the way this stuff happens.
        Cables pass through water so deep that no sub can reach them, and opening a cable at that depth would cause water infiltration
        of the entire length of that segment. Further, you would then have to have a method to get all the information you tapped back to
        shore. You really can't cut into an undersea cable unless you haul it up, and do that at the surface.

        In years past, older WIRE cables could be tapped by an induction sheath without opening the cable itself, but again retrieving the signals was difficult and required sending teams down to collect what was recorded every few weeks.

        Its far easier to do this on land than it is in the deep sea. A lot of the alleged undersea taps really happen on dry land.

        There are actually very few places where undersea cables where they can be messed with, and it never involves cutting.

        Some such locations are at signal regeneration points or branches, which are seldom located in shallow water, and usually require a cable haul-up [nokia.com], which is pretty hard to disguise in this era satellite monitoring.
        Even then the cable operator would notice the disruption.

        And most of this became pointless when the big guys (google, amazon)started encrypting all inter-datacenter traffic.

        This story isn't about tapping. Its about destroying the cable. A few simple depth charges or a torpedo will do. And there is no new risk here. Nothing has changed, and cables were always at risk to state actors.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:42AM (1 child)

      by Gaaark (41) on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:42AM (#610627) Journal

      We got here our bath tub boat, eh!, so we're right dere wit you.

      Buddy Was-his-name dere will drive it.

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:42AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @04:42AM (#610618)

    That someone may Brex it.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:38AM

      by Gaaark (41) on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:38AM (#610626) Journal

      You Brexit, you buys it.

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:48AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @05:48AM (#610628)

    Encrypt everything, at the link level to hide metadata too... or does GCHQ want to share something with the rest of the class about this?

    That should make interception useless, only useful tactic would be DoS, which anybody with a good anchor can do.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @11:49AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @11:49AM (#610680)

      which does not help you if they CUT THE LINE ( as discussed in the topic )

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:36PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:36PM (#610769) Journal

      How does encryption protect against cable cutting?

      This story is not about tapping, (regardless of the misleading "related" links tagged onto TFS), it is about destruction of the cables.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by PinkyGigglebrain on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:27AM (1 child)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:27AM (#610653)

    Like there aren't any other countries who don't like the USA or a (mostly) free Internet.

    Remember that you don't have to damage the undersea cables where they come ashore. It's just easiest since the cables are in shallower water. Any nation with enough resources to operate in deeper water could pull it off. Hells, if it ever did happen I would have to wonder if it was a false flag op by the USA to make whatever county was Evil that week look bad. It would depend on when, where, how much it actually hurt the economies of the affected nations and who gets blamed within the first week.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there were already some kind of "kill boxes" placed by some county or another on the cables in deeper water, ready to break them on a remote command.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:54AM (#610674)

      One of the things US Navy T-AGOS class cable repair ships were/are tasked with is the detecting and mapping of possible undersea mines in proximity to cable paths, primarily SOSUS-related cables but also civilian comms cable too.Much cheaper and less tedious than sending fancy attack subs to do it.

      Most Soviet-era submarines were perfectly capable of deploying deep-sea "sleeper" mines at depths beyond the ability of non-destructive countermeasures. Unconfirmed rumors had it that some of said mines were fission weapons, but they were too easy to detect.

      There is no reason to believe that any nation with a submarine couldn't lay whole baskets of explody easter eggs around undersea cables.

      Child's play, really.

  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:28AM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:28AM (#610654) Journal

    "we didn't put that box there, no, no, no. It must have been those pesky Russians. We *warned* you about them!"

    --
    Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:31AM (11 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:31AM (#610656) Homepage Journal

    Why are the UK and (mainly) the US so focused on Russia? What is the current need for an external enemy? What are they distracting attention from?

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:43AM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday December 16 2017, @08:43AM (#610660) Homepage Journal

      I'm going to report you to the Thought Police.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by janrinok on Saturday December 16 2017, @09:11AM (7 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @09:11AM (#610663) Journal

      Why are the UK and (mainly) the US so focused on Russia?

      Probably because we are observing sufficient intelligence interest begin shown by Russia at levels last seen during the Cold War e.g 'diplomats' carrying out intelligence collection activities, illegals being discovered in our countries - just because we don't arrest them doesn't mean they haven't been identified - and our own nationals being subjected to intense intelligence interest when they visit Russia or countries that are aligned with it.

      Now tie that in with the increase in Russian military interest around the the coasts of the UK, both naval and air, and then look at what has happened in the Ukraine or is being threatened to the Baltic states, and how Russian hackers might be trying to influence elections in several countries, and you can see why someone might believe that we have gone back to the 1970-80s again.

      Russia is now building up its forces and using them to extend its influence in various regions around Europe and the Middle East. You might think the UK and US are acting as though they need an enemy, but having found one that is acting very much like it is trying to become a dominant world power suggests that prudent steps should be taken to protect oneself against it.

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 5, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:21AM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @10:21AM (#610670)

        Read about all that in the highly reliable and objective mass media did you?

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:27PM (2 children)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday December 16 2017, @01:27PM (#610688) Journal

          Oh look, a contrarian puke with upmods aplenty.

          Putin the dictator is running for his fourth six-year presidential term. I wonder if he'll win?

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:20PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:20PM (#610705)

            Putin the dictator is running for his fourth six-year presidential term. I wonder if he'll win?

            As a wildly idealistic USian plebian living in the USA, allow me to explain within this post, and with the utmost maximum extent I can muster to you, EXACTLY how much I care about the politics in some other authoritarian train wreck of a country that isn't the one I'm living in.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:43PM

              by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:43PM (#610708) Journal

              Great. You can continue to hold no opinion. And if a Russian or Chinese hack affects you or a major Internet cable gets cut, you'll be fine because it's somebody else's business. And certainly nothing these countries do will have an effect on your economic well being.

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by janrinok on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:37PM (2 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:37PM (#610695) Journal

          No - it was my job until retirement.

          --
          It's always my fault...
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @12:08AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @12:08AM (#611168)

            That's actually not any better than the mass media. Remember Iraq's WMDs, as reported by the US intelligence agencies?

            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday December 18 2017, @05:41PM

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 18 2017, @05:41PM (#611490) Journal

              Do you remember some of the rubbish spouted by ACs? But we don't judge all ACs by the few that are idiots.

              --
              It's always my fault...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:44PM (#610697)

      The US is obvious (yr glorious leader..), the UK has the impending clusterfuck of Brexit, so needs all the distractions they can generate (cf. the circus we'll be getting surrounding the impending 'Royal' wedding of 'the cuckoo in the nest' and 'some actress I'd never heard of'..probably timed to cover up the exposure of something really nasty they've got lurking in the woodshed).

    • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:40PM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:40PM (#610771) Homepage Journal

      Since the first day I took office, all you hear is the phony Democrat excuse for losing the election, Russia, Russia, Russia. Despite this I have the economy booming and have possibly done more than any 10 month President. It hasn't been easy, folks. The Establishment and special interests are absolutely killing our country. Our politicians are never going to do what's right for you -- the people of our country. They are only going to do what's right for them, meaning contributions to run for office now, and in the future.

      We're a debtor nation. Something has to happen over the next number of years with this country because you can't keep on losing $49 billion on trade every month. And yet we let China come in and dump everything into our markets. It's not free trade. If you ever go to China right now and try to sell something, forget about it. Just forget about it. It's almost impossible. They don't have laws against it, they just make it impossible.

      They come over here, they sell their vegetables, their TVs, they knock the hell out of our companies. And, hey, I have tremendous respect for the Chinese people. I mean, you can respect somebody that's beating the hell out of you, but they are beating the hell out of this country. Kuwait, they live like kings -- the poorest person in Kuwait, they live like kings -- and yet, they're not paying. We make it possible for them to sell their oil. Why aren't they paying us 25 percent of what they're making? It's a joke. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! 🇺🇸

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Unixnut on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:24PM

    by Unixnut (5779) on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:24PM (#610682)

    I mean, not like the UK is part of the "five eyes" system, now is it? And I am sure the UK never taps any of the cables that go through that geopolitical choke point called Gibraltar? I mean, they only keep that hunk of land because of the good weather and seafood, right?

    And what about all those "accidents" where fibre to countries got cut off temporarily due to a "boats anchor dragging across the cable".

    I mean, I remember a few years ago, where there were 2-3 such large "accidents" around the world. Large enough that they couldn't be hidden and it was reported in the media (probably many more ones that were not reported).

    Like I am going to believe that all of a sudden major steel reinforced fibre connections are being severed due to drunken sailors throwing anchors in the deep sea. Then just as suddenly, it all stopped. Am I to believe there has been a sudden and sustained outbreak of sobriety onboard ships? Or have they confiscated all the anchors?

    And now, "Russians" might cut cables to install taps. You don't say? Big whoop. Assuming they haven't been doing that before (and I am sure they have, if not now, then back as part of the USSR), should I go cower under my bed? Beg the government for more draconian surveillance to violate my privacy because "Russians"? What?

    Seriously, and people get riled up by this shit? It is state espionage, I expect the Russians to react to whatever the NSA/five eyes has been doing, and give them a taste of their own medicine. I mean, every country has intelligence, espionage and counter intelligence sections, they all do as much as possible within their budget and capability.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:43PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:43PM (#610696)

    That one just doesn't ring true.

    If you cut a few cables, you might manage to isolate a 3rd world country.
    To disconnect something major, you would have to cut a lot of cables.
    That's going to cause an international incident with an evidence trail.
    Seems improbable, unless the act is part of a much bigger conflict.
    In which case, the cut cables are the least of the problem.

    If he's the new naval commander, he doesn't have much interesting to say.
    Maybe that's good because there is not much going on.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:44PM (#610698)

      yvan eht nioj

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:40PM (2 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:40PM (#610707) Journal

      Air Chief Marshall Stuart Peach [wikipedia.org] is not navy, he is Royal Air Force, and he's also the current Chief of Defence Staff- the highest military office in the UK.

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:07AM (#610828)

        And with an RAF that struggles to get 3 planes aloft simultaneously, a bathtub navy, and an "army" that doesn't add up to a full brigade.

        Truly a Great Captain. Alexander and Julius Caesar, move over.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @07:45AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @07:45AM (#610894)

        And .... Colin Powell of Iraq WMD fame was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - the highest position in the US Military.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErlDSJHRVMA [youtube.com]

(1)