Submarine Cables vulnerable to Cyber Attacks


    Most majority of educated individuals are aware that the internet connects people worldwide through underwater cables spanning the depths of the ocean. However, what many fail to realize is that these cables are susceptible to digital attacks that have the potential to trigger global internet disruptions lasting for days or even weeks.

    A recent study conducted by Record Future sheds light on the fact that geopolitical tensions, such as the ongoing conflicts between China and Taiwan Province, Ukraine and Russia, and the United States and North Korea, could prompt adversarial forces to launch cyber assaults on the interconnected web.

    Amidst the mounting challenges faced by Vladimir Putin, there is a looming possibility that he might initiate a cyber warfare campaign against the rest of the world by sabotaging the undersea cables linking Asia with the Western countries. Such an act would not only severely hamper communication channels, but it could also enable the Russian Federation to wreak havoc on the West by disrupting an overwhelming 91%, equivalent to $10 trillion, of daily internet transactions.

    In today’s digital landscape, approximately 30% of data and voice communication relies on satellite technology, while the remaining 70% heavily relies on the interconnected web, which predominantly employs submarine fiber optic cables.

    The United States has already encountered a similar predicament in April 2022 when its specialized security forces at the Pentagon thwarted an underwater cable attack that targeted the connection between the Pacific region and Hawaii. Subsequent investigations revealed that the attack was the result of a phishing scheme that exposed login credentials to malicious actors.

    These examples merely scratch the surface, as the repercussions of such situations can extend far deeper. Cloud service providers, responsible for maintaining data centers worldwide, heavily depend on undersea cables. Consequently, any disruption to these cables could inflict lasting damage on their hosting services, with potentially irreversible consequences.

    Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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