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How secure is the U.S. communications network?

How secure is the U.S. communications network?
How secure is the U.S. communications network? 

By Marguerite Reardon
CNews News
April 13, 2009

A simple snip of a few fiber-optic communications cables left thousands 
of people in Silicon Valley and throughout parts of the San Francisco 
Bay Area without phone, Internet, or wireless service for more than 12 
hours on Thursday.

The San Jose Police Department is investigating the incidents, which 
took place in two different locations in San Jose and San Carlos and 
classified as acts of vandalism. Now that the network is up and running 
again, people are asking how difficult is it to take down the nation's 
communications network? And should we be more worried about the fiber 
optic cables that ring our communities and crisscross the country 
carrying all of our communications?

"A couple of well-placed attacks could do a lot of damage to the 
communications network," said Sam Greenholtz, co-founder and principal 
of Telecom Pragmatics, a consulting and research firm specializing in 
the telecommunications market. "And it's not really that hard to figure 
out where the fiber optic cables are laid and to get access to them."

That said, Sgt. Ronnie Lopez of the San Jose Police Department said 
there is no reason yet to suspect terrorism in this case. But the FBI 
has been briefed on the case.

AT&T is offering a $250,000 reward to anyone who can provide information 
that leads to the arrest and conviction of the vandals.


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