How Syria Severed The Internet
And How Easy Would That Be For Other Countries?
A new analysis by Cloudfare
explores how it was so easy for Syria to simply disconnect the Internet last week. According to the firm, there are four physical fiber lines running into and out of Syria, three underwater and one over land in Turkey. Though the Syrian Minister of Information claimed all four lines were severed by "terrorists," Cloudfare argues that this is unlikely, and that the Internet shut off was accomplished instead through updates in router configurations, not through physical means:
Beginning at 1026 UTC, routes were withdrawn for PCCW. The routing shifted primarily to Turk Telekom. Routes to Telecom Italia and TATA were also withdrawn, but has less of an impact. Then, at 1028 UTC, routes were withdrawn for Turk Telekom. After that, Syria was effectively cut off from the Internet. (Note that the remaining path that appears to be present in the video is an anomaly. We have confirmed that it is not actually active.)
While we cannot know for sure, our network team estimates that Syria likely has a small number of edge routers. All the edge routers are controlled by Syrian Telecommunications. The systematic way in which routes were withdrawn suggests that this was done through updates in router configurations, not through a physical failure or cable cut.
directs our attention to some analysis by Renesys
examining just how easy it would theoretically be for most countries to sever connectivity. Obviously, it's easier for a country to be shuttered when just one or two telcos control all the international connections -- especially when they're a state run monopoly.
Cascade Even here in the US I would think that the ISP's would not be up to the challenge of load balancing if there were enough of the trans-oceanic lines cut. Which would effectively result in a loss of international connection and could also result in a complete collapse of the system as we currently know it.
Princeton Junction, NJ
Re: Cascade There are just so many trans-oceanic lines and satellite links that it would be nearly impossible to disconnect the US from the rest of the world. And even if that happened, most of the Internet's major sites are based in the US, so we wouldn't even notice it.
Counting fiber... "there are three physical fiber lines running into and out of Syria, three underwater and one over land in Turkey."
Re: Counting fiber... Could have been a wireless link, and not fiber, doubtful, but possible.
Re: Back Online You see this alluded to where? Nothing about it in the links..... Voices in your head maybe?
What the internet fears most...
What the internet (and all underground utilities) fears the most is the:
The Back Hoe
Syria There has been a Cyber war put against Syria for a very long time but you all mostly jump on the band wagon that the Assad regime perpetrated it. I see no credible evidence that it was cut by the regime. I tell you more evidence is coming out of Syria via the internet that is damning of the rebels than of the regime. Reconsider.