[Steven Shepard actually knows what he is talking about, in contrast to me, SB/SM, who has 0 credentials in the field of maritime cybersecurity. SB Bill (Hinesburg SBs) passed along the recent post on the subject by Silverback Digest to Dr. Steven D. Shepard who happens to have written a book on the subject. Both correspondents gave their permission to use this quote. SB SM]
“Yep—subsea cables are definitely vulnerable, but they do take steps to protect them as much as they can. Have a look at the picture I attached. This is from a project I worked on years ago with Global Crossing and Tyco to build an optical ring that surrounds the entire continent of Africa. See the light blue lines just offshore? That’s the fiber cable. Notice that in some cases, like Cairo, Mombasa, and Capetown, the cable actually lands on the beach. That’s called a festoon, by the way. But in countries that are considered to be potentially unstable, like Conakry, Abidjan, or Djibouti, they run a fiber from the ring offshore to the land, so that if somebody decides to get uppity and cut the cable, they don’t affect the ring, just the access to that country.
“When the tech bubble collapsed in 2001, it was discovered after the smoke cleared that at the height of demand, the world was using precisely six percent of the installed fiber infrastructure—a classic bubble. So, all that dark fiber became distressed assets on everybody’s books. Luckily, a company came out of the woodwork and said, ‘We think we can use it—so we’ll buy it from you, at pennies on the dollar, just to get it off your books to make the accountants happy.’ So everybody sold their fiber to this unknown company and walked away happy. The company was called Google, and this is why Google controls more fiber than all telcos in the world—combined.
“I have dozens of these stories … “
[Being the no-stones-left-unturned kinda guy I am. I decided to learn a bit more about Mr. Shepard. I listened and subscribed to his podcasts. And spent some time on his website. It struck me that he’s from a parallel Jungle, right here in Vermont. There’s also a blog and lots more. Dr. Steven Shepard, welcome to The Jungle. SB SM]
“I photograph, record, and write about the natural world. I see, I listen, I write. I fundamentally believe that curiosity can save the world—so I publish stories to make people curious. Ultimately, curiosity leads to discovery, discovery leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to insight, and insight leads to understanding. Please enjoy!”
About Steven Shepard
Thanks for dropping by! I’m the founder of the Shepard Communications Group in Williston, Vermont, co-founder of the Executive Crash Course Company, and founder of Shepard Images. I’m kind of professionally split: I’m an author, photographer, public speaker, industry analyst, audio producer, and educator. Check out his more that 200 podcast episodes (I subscribed! SB SM)