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FBI probe physical intrusions into Californian internet cables

Chopping up fibres is one way of stopping mass surveillance

The FBI is investigating a series of attacks on internet cabling in California – and has revealed that wiring has been meddled with at least eleven times in the San Francisco Bay Area within the past year.

The bureau confirmed to USA Today that it is investigating a more traditional form of hacking against California's internet infrastructure.

The most recent attack took place on Tuesday morning and disrupted internet services for businesses and residents in and around Sacramento, the state's capital.

When not blaming Google and Apple for ISIS, the men in black are also investigating how someone managed to break into an underground vault and cut three fibre-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based ISPs Level 3 and Zayo.

USA Today reported that in Arizona earlier this year, "tens of thousands of residents were cut off from internet services after someone sliced through underground fibre-optic cables".

According to JJ Thompson, CEO of Rook Security, a security consulting and services provider in Indianapolis, the attacks were "a security person's nightmare".

"When it's situations that are scattered all in one geography, that raises the possibility that they are testing out capabilities, response times and impact," Thompson said.

These attacks are being considered within the same investigation, which is being considered to have begun on July 6 2014, according to 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 declined to discuss specifics of the attacks, which he said have generally occurred in remote areas not monitored by cameras – which makes it likely they were beyond the view of the FBI's own spy planes.

Spokeswomen for Level 3 and Zayo confirmed the disruption in their services to USA Today, but declined to discuss specifics. The G-Men remain on the case. ®

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