The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
It’s been confirmed that the Sacramento County outage is due to vandals who cut cables in Livermore. The cables in Livermore were used to service customers in Sacramento County. That outage occurred around 4am on Tuesday morning.
The FBI is investigating at least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California’s San Francisco Bay Area dating back a year, including one early Tuesday morning.
Agents confirm the latest attack disrupted Internet service for businesses and residential customers in and around Sacramento, the state’s capital.
FBI agents declined to specify how significantly the attack affected customers, citing the ongoing investigation. In Tuesday’s attack, someone broke into an underground vault and cut three fiber-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based service providers Level 3 and Zayo.
The attacks date back to at least July 6, 2014, said FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich.
“When it affects multiple companies and cities, it does become disturbing,” Wuthrich said. “We definitely need the public’s assistance.”
Wuthrich said cutting the lines requires tools. Although fiber-optic lines themselves aren’t much bigger than diameter of a pencil, they’re usually protected by tough, flexible conduit. Citing the ongoing investigation, he declined to further discuss specifics of the attacks, which he said have generally occurred in remote areas not monitored by security cameras.
Mark Peterson, a spokesman for Wave Broadband, said an unspecified number of Sacramento-area customers were knocked offline by the latest attack. He characterized the Tuesday attack as “coordinated” and said the company was working with Level 3 and Zayo to restore service.
Spokeswomen for Level 3 and Zayo confirmed the disruption but declined to discuss specifics.
“Law enforcement is involved and restoration crews are working to restore connectivity as quickly as possible,” Zayo spokeswoman Shannon Paulk said via email.
Level 3 and Zayo are primarily business-to-business Internet providers, connecting local services like Wave to the broader Internet with their high-speed fiber-optic lines. Fiber-optic backbone cables are the interstate highways of the information superhighway, carrying vast amounts of data between decentralized hubs. …
The FBI is investigating acts of sabotage against telecom companies here in the Bay Area and now they’re looking for help. Vandals have been cutting fiber optic cable lines in four East Bay cities and in San Jose.
… over the past year, there’ve been nine other locations in five cities where cables have been severed — five in Fremont, two incidents in Walnut Creek, and once incident a piece in Berkeley, San Jose, and Alamo. They belong to various telecom companies, including AT&T.
In most cases, the cables were in underground vaults covered by heavy manhole covers. Some are along highways and others in remote areas. The acts of sabotage resemble what happened six years ago when vandals cut underground cables at four sites, knocking out phone and Internet service to 50,000 South Bay customers. … It’s not known if the same people are responsible for the recent sabotage.
Many people are having internet connection issues in the Sacramento region Tuesday, and an internet provider said it is because fiber cables were cut. And it appears it was not an accident. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the cause of the outage.
According to Wave Broadband, in a message posted on their website, three cables “connecting the region have been physically severed in what appears to be a coordinated attack on multiple internet carriers beginning at 4:20 a.m. Tuesday morning.”
Wave said they are a customer of two internet “backbone” companies who provide the cable. Those two companies are Level 3 Communications and Zayo. The cable lines that were cut belong to those two.
Level 3 Communications said they are experiencing a service disruption because of a “fiber cut in the Northern California region”. However, they did not offer a restoration time.
News10 has reached out to internet providers and investigating agencies for more information.
Who conducted a coordinated attack to cut three cables at 4:20 am this morning? Marijuana activists?