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From: InfoSec News (alertsinfosecnews.org)
Date: Mon Dec 22 2008 - 03:27:22 CST
By Kim Zetter
December 19, 2008
Reports from the Mediterranean indicate that two of the undersea cables
severed and repaired earlier this year have been cut again, disrupting
internet access and phone service between the Middle East, Europe, and
parts of Asia. An additional third cable is down in the same region.
The cuts are causing traffic to be re-routed through the United States
Egypt's communications ministry tells the Associated Press that the
outage has almost completely killed internet services throughout Egypt.
A second report indicates that the three cables that are out include the
SEA-ME-WE 4 cable (also known as SMW4), which went out at 7:28 a.m.
local time Friday morning; SEA-ME-WE 3, which went down at 7:33 a.m.;
and the FLAG EA cable, which went out at 8:06 a.m. The cables were cut
in the region where they run under the sea between Egypt and Italy. They
carry an estimated 90 percent of all data traffic between Europe and the
Middle East. SMW 3 and SMW 4 are owned by groups of phone companies;
FLAG is owned by Reliance Globalcom.
The SMW 4 and FLAG cables were among five undersea cables damaged
earlier this year in January and February in the Mediterranean,
launching a flurry of conspiracy theories before investigations revealed
that at least one of the cuts was caused by a ship's anchor. When those
cables went down, SMW 3 was used to re-route traffic. But this time, SMW
3 is reportedly involved in the outage as well.
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