[Dshield] Undersea cable cuts

John B. Holmblad jholmblad at aol.com
Thu Apr 17 01:29:06 GMT 2008


Pete,

I did not intend to imply that the DOS's were necessarily intentional, 
only that they were perhaps caused by anchors being dragged by the ships 
in question. If it turns out to be the case that, in fact, dragging 
anchors were the culprits I hope that the ships owners/operators have 
sufficient E&O insurance to cover the damages!

One peripheral data point that intrigued me about the engaget article, 
and which may simply be a mis-wording, is that the piece as written 
seems to imply that there were only two sailors on one of the ships, 
thus suggesting that modern ships are highly automated, not unlike  
trains and commercial aircraft. Maybe what they meant to say is "the 
ship's pilot and co-pilot" or something to that effect.

Also, given the economic value of the world's maritime fleets it would 
not surprise me if the owners of those fleets paid for satellite 
surveillance of them 100% of the time while under way.

Best Regards,

 

John Holmblad

 

Televerage International

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Pete Cap wrote:
> There are still conspiracy theories, this time centered around the odds of there being a satellite that just HAPPENED to be photographing that area at the time...
>
> This is a basic application of Bayesian statistics; we already have a pretty good idea of how often cable cuts occur (about once every 3 days) so we can calculate the odds that 5 cables would be cut in a 12-day period, globally (about 82%).  I don't think the odds are much less when you factor in the "fortuitous" satellite imagery, or the close location of the cuts.
>
> Even if you assume that there is a conspiracy, it means that from these data we can't tell a conspiracy from random events.
>
> Of course, I am not a statistician so, grain of salt and all that.
>
> I actually would like to do a more granular study of the cables and come up with a metric for the probability of X number of cuts in Y days in Z geographical limits.  I'm pretty sure we could use that to establish a threshhold along the lines of "If so many cables servicing the UK are cut in so many days, then it might not be random."  Anyone want to help with some research and data entry?
>
> Best regards,
> Pete
>
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: John B. Holmblad <jholmblad at aol.com>
> To: General DShield Discussion List <list at lists.dshield.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 9:46:29 PM
> Subject: Re: [Dshield] Undersea cable cuts
>
> All,
>
>
> it looks like the Denials of Service in the Middle East as a result of
> undersea cable cuts are at least partially explained by "rogue anchors".
>
> Here is the url to  the mention of that cause at the Engadget www site:
>
>
> http://www.engadget.com/2008/04/14/uae-nabbed-a-pair-of-ships-suspected-for-undersea-cable-cutting/
>
>
> Best Regards,
>
>
>
> John Holmblad
>
>
>
> Televerage International
>
> GSEC Gold,   GCWN Gold,   GAWN,  GGSC-0100,   NSA-IAM,  NSA-IEM
>
> Information security, telecommunications, and information technology
> consulting
>
>
>
> (M) 703 407 2278
>
> (F)  703 620 5388
>
> primary email address:  jholmblad at aol.com
>
> backup email address:  jholmblad at verizon.net
>
>
>
>
>
> Pete Cap wrote:
>   
>> Has anyone got any comments or thoughts to share on the cable cuts?
>>
>> As of yesterday I think there have been 5 cables knocked out for one reason or another, and plenty of conspiracy theories surrounding why (the Digg link to the 5th cut had the quote "This is the kind of thing that turns tinfoil into hats").  What are your thoughts on this from a security professional's standpoint?
>>
>> For general reference, I found this site highly useful:  http://www.vsnlinternational.com/map/
>> You can see the cables by selecting "Global Footprint."
>>
>> My personal theory centers on sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads.
>> There's no way sea bass could bite through those cables, no matter how irritable.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Pete
>>
>>
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>>   
>>     
>
>
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