In the information technology capitol of the Untied States, Silicon Valley, ten fiber optics cables were cut in four locations on April 9th - effectively eliminating the ability for phones or Internet connectivity to hundreds of thousands of area residents, as well as hi-tech corporations. This was an act of sabotage, either by one or many individuals, which was well coordinated and precisely executed.
The question is, then, was this a mere isolated act of vandalism, or was this a probe measuring the response and impact of an attack on the cyber-infrastructure?
I have often speculated that the beginning phase of an attack would commence with an attack on communication lines... effectively eliminating the ability of individuals to receive information or share information with authorities. Was someone watching the impact of these line cuts to determine emergency service impact?
AT&T has offered a $250,000 bounty for information leading to the conviction of the culprits of this attack - much more than the usual $15,000 for infrastructure vandalism... indicating that this attack was something more.
If nothing else, it clearly highlighted the complete absence of security of the fiber optics network - as these culprits merely lowered themselves into a number of manholes and attacked the lines. There are no sensors, no alarms, nothing - other than intersection cameras...
In an age when even televisions will not be able to broadcast the emergency broadcast over the analog airwaves after June 15th, such reliance on a network of unsecured infrastructure is beyond troubling.
If you can effectively eliminate the transfer of information within a community while striking fear - such as some highly visible attack right before or right after, you can create chaos on a disastrous scale... Whether this was an intended "terror" probe or some isolated act of sabotage, it works in conjunction with other probes measuring how high of an effect there was on the community and how well the response was prepared and coordinated.
Ultimately, this type of attack underlines the most dangerous element - the "lone wolf"... the lack of leadership and the lack of ability for cells to organize and be infiltrated in this country have given rise, from time to time, to the most dangerous type of extremist - rogues. Home Grown extremism, in the last 20-30 years, has largely come from rogues... Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, Clayton Waagner, Eric Rudolph, Jeffrey Dahmer, just to name a few...
I echo my concern - reliance on these services for survival is personal destruction. Every responsible individual should have the ability to communicate - even by Citizen Band radio, which has an emergency channel. You should be able to field dress wounds, provide some sort of immediate triage type care, feed and hydrate yourself for a number of days, and posses certain amount of survival information and self defense ability. The first line of defense is the self... If you are actively prepared, such attacks may impact the community, but your survival is first and foremost.
Be it an act of vandalism, or the warning signs for an upcoming attack, the message is clear - we live in a time of increased unrest, of the individual mind, of the community, and of the world...