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Wizard of Changes -- ©cdozo 2004 to 2015

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Interesting Times? [Feb. 4th, 2008|09:37 pm]
Wizard of Changes -- ©cdozo 2004 to 2015
A fourth Internet cable has been cut.

A year or two ago, there was a rash of fair-weather power failures. Most people didn't notice. The outages were small and short lived. But we had an outage here in Austin, there were a couple in Connecticut and some in New York City. The authorities gave explanations but there was a different explanation for each event. It seemed odd.

Now the CIA has admitted that hackers got into power systems in areas outside of the United States, and "in at least one case, caused a power outage affecting multiple cities." Some of the outages were part of an extortion scheme (or schemes). When I read about this,  I wondered if maybe some of the hackers got into some systems in the US as well.

So now Internet cables are being cut. Are the extortionists branching out, or is it really just wayward ship's anchors?

We may never know.

[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2008-02-05 03:30 pm (UTC)
Two competing adages come to mind: "Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity" and "Once is accident, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."

The problem is, people can be stupid far more than three times, esp. when you have more than one "people" to worry about. Captain A drags his anchor...cuts a cable. Never cuts another cable in his entire life. Captain B, who's heard about Captain A, is sure he's not dragging his anchor, but he's loaded lower than he thought and it's low tide when he departs and he cuts a cable. Captain C, being especially careful, urges his navigator to ensure that they stay 10 meters or more away from all the charted sites of cables, but in the meantime the new cables are 20 meters from where they were, and *he* cuts a cable. Captain B, the most careless of them, comes back and--not bothering to read the updates and thus unaware of the cables' third location and Captain C's problems, eyeballs "a safe distance", drags his anchor, and cuts a cable.

Meanwhile, a genuine enemy cuts the cables twice on purpose, but on the second one is run over by a surface vessel and dies, chopped into little bits by the propellor and thus unnoticed except by seagulls and sharks.

It's not always "extortion", either. Sometimes it's just a plain ordinary attack on critical resources.

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