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How Syria Severed The Internet
And How Easy Would That Be For Other Countries?
by Karl Bode 08:39AM Tuesday Dec 04 2012
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:
quote:
Beginning at 1026 UTC, routes were withdrawn for PCCW.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 Routes to Telecom Italia and TATA were also withdrawn, but has less of an impact. Then, at 1028 UTC, routes were withdrawn for Turk Telekom.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 The systematic way in which routes were withdrawn suggests that this was done through updates in router configurations, not through a physical failure or cable cut.
Meanwhile, Techdirt 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.

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boogi man

join:2001-11-13
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:1

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.
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my site

NickD
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Princeton Junction, NJ
Reviews:
·Comcast

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.

Landmine

join:2009-01-05
Placerville, CA

1 recommendation

Counting fiber...

"there are three physical fiber lines running into and out of Syria, three underwater and one over land in Turkey."
kevinds
Premium
join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:3

Re: Counting fiber...

Could have been a wireless link, and not fiber, doubtful, but possible.

AnonFTW

@reliablehosting.com

Back Online

They are back online.

»blog.cloudflare.com/syrian-inter···lly-rees

There are suspicions that monitoring devices were installed and that was the reason for the outage.
tdumaine
Premium
join:2004-03-14
Seattle, WA

Re: Back Online

said by AnonFTW :

They are back online.

»blog.cloudflare.com/syrian-inter···lly-rees

There are suspicions that monitoring devices were installed and that was the reason for the outage.

You see this alluded to where? Nothing about it in the links..... Voices in your head maybe?
averagedude

join:2002-01-30
San Diego, CA
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

3 recommendations

What the internet fears most...


The Back Hoe
What the internet (and all underground utilities) fears the most is the:

Lazlo1969

@teksavvy.com

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.

Lone Wolf
Almost Retired
Premium
join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

Block The Tubes!

If they block the Internet Tubes it would halt the flow of information. Just fill the tubes with garbage and nothing will pass through.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes

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