The war in Ukraine has raised the specter of an attack on the Internet infrastructure. A few hundred cables, easy to sabotage, run through the seabed and connect the continents to each other.
The world currently has about 436 cablesmany of which link and North America, and depart mainly from Ireland, the United Kingdom and France. Despite several layers of protection, these cables, which contain very thin optical fibers, are only two centimeters thick. They are buried near the coast, but then are simply laid on the seabed.
Cable sabotage would be an act of war
In August 2021, the Russian oceanographic vessel Yantar, believed to be a spy ship, was spotted following the route of several cables off the coast of Ireland. As early as January, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin of the British Royal Navy had expressed his concern, believing that sabotage of submarine cables would amount to an act of war. According to Bernard Barbier, former technical director of the DGSE, “ ais of course possible but for that Moscow would have to cut at least ten cables ».
Fortunately, there is some redundancy. According to the Telegeography site, there are on average more than 100 incidents per year at the level of submarine cables around the world. In addition, many cables connect Europe to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, under the sea and on land. The consequences for Europe and more particularly France would therefore depend on the extent of the sabotage…