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Fibre optic cable sabotage causes global internet slowdown

A major fibre optic cable has been cut near Aix-en-Provence, France, causing a global internet connectivity slowdown, reports cybersecurity company Zscaler. Experts believe that the cable was severed in a deliberate “act of vandalism”; others have described it as “sabotage.”

In the early hours of 18 October, a cable was cut at a major landing point for several undersea internet cables, causing a chain reaction of connectivity problems across Europe and further afield. Connectivity was especially disrupted on internet cable between Marseille-Lyon, Marseille-Milan, and Marseille-Barcelona.

According to Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry, the vandalism caused connectivity problems across the world.

“We are aware of a major cable cut in the South of France that has impacted major subsea cables with connectivity to Asia, Europe, US, and potentially other parts of the world… Customers may see packet loss and or latency for websites and applications which traverse these impacted paths,” Chaudhry told CNN.

According to Zscaler, French police are currently investigating the cutting of the cable. Repairs to the cable were completed by 20 October. No suspect has yet been detained by police. Some have suggested that Russia may be behind the sabotage but no evidence has supported these claims.

Recently, there has been a slew of cut internet cables, especially in the UK. An undersea “submarine cable” was recently cut off the coast of northern Scotland, which has now been blamed on a fishing vessel.