A major fiber optic cable has been cut in the south of France. The incident caused a global connectivity slowdown.
The incident occurred on the night of October 17-18 in southern France. A fiber optic cable was severed near Aix-en-Provence and the effects spread like wildfire. Indeed, the cable in question is an anchor point for several submarine cables. In particular three major lines with Marseille-Lyon, Marseille-Milan and Marseille-Barcelona.
However, the damage would have been felt much further afield. The CEO of Zscaler, the company that manages the security of this infrastructure, says the incident “has had an impact on the main submarine cables providing connectivity with Asia, Europe, the United States and potentially other regions of the world”. In fact, the firm explains that the degradation of the cables resulted in “packet loss or latency for websites and applications that use the affected paths”.
The favored trail of vandalism
According to Zscaler, technical teams got to the scene very quickly, but were delayed by investigators. The CEO of the firm has also stepped up and called the act of sabotage. A statement echoed by local operators. If the repairs were completed Thursday, October 20 in the evening, no suspect is clearly defined.
Some observers suggest a Russian counter-offensive after the sabotage of its own Nord Stream gas pipeline. A case that has still not found its culprit, the Russian and Western camps passing the buck. Others see it as a link with the incidents which affected certain cables in the British Isles, even if the United Kingdom assures that these are accidents and that trawlers are responsible for the damage.
It remains to be seen whether the investigation will be able to go back to the saboteurs. However, it seems that the will of the European Union to reinforce the surveillance of its underwater infrastructures is not without foundations.
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