US officials fear that Russia plotting to slice undersea cables which may cause global internet outage
The US intelligence community and government officials are becoming increasingly concerned over the activity of Russian submarines and ships around undersea internet cables. According to sources for The New York Times, US officials are concerned Russia is plotting to sever the crucial internet cables and cause worldwide Internet outages.
US military and intelligence officials have recorded increased Russian activity along undersea cables in the North Sea, northeast Asia and by American shores. As the Russian Navy submarines and spy ships are said to be too close to the undersea cables that carry about 95% of the global Internet connections, speculations that an attempt by the Russians to cut the information carrying cables got everyone on the US intelligence to panic.
According to sources, Russia could be targeting the cables at the deepest point – which are typically harder to monitor and fix – to severe communication and create disruption at times of conflict. Moscow could also be searching for secret cables installed by the US for military purposes, the New York Times sources have cautioned.
“The level of activity is comparable to what we saw in the Cold War,” a senior European diplomat has revealed.
The United States tracked Russian spy ship the Yantar last month as it travelled towards Cuba and Guantanamo Bay – where a major US undersea cable begins.
While there is no evidence yet of any cable cutting, the concern is part of a growing wariness among senior American and allied military and intelligence officials over the accelerated activity by Russian armed forces around the globe. At the same time, the internal debate in Washington illustrates how the United States is increasingly viewing every Russian move through a lens of deep distrust, reminiscent of relations during the Cold War.
Russian hackers had previously hacked into the Pentagon computers, so the US agencies wary of Russia snipping the undersea fiber-optic cables that would immediately isolate the US and the West and cause a worldwide Internet outage.