Deliberate damage to the fiber-optic network in eastern France left many major cities offline on Wednesday. The Paris prosecutor’s office said the court had opened an investigation.
The Zone ADSL website has recorded 9,156 internet outages in the past 24 hours, mainly with network operator customers for free, and to a lesser extent also at operator SFR. The damage is said to have occurred around 4 a.m. on Wednesday. Three of Free’s four backbones were destroyed. These basic pillars connect Internet traffic between different regions via high-speed fibers and act as a node. This instantly cuts entire areas of damage. Network operator SFR also confirms that there have been multiple cuts in fiber-optic cables near Lyon and Ile-de-France. The affected cables linked Paris to Lyon, Paris and Strasbourg.
Netalis, the alternative network operator for professionals, has also encountered problems in eastern France, “either very serious delays or rare outages of service of just over two hours”. Director Nicolas Guillaume plans to file a complaint: ‘Is it an act of cyber terrorism? Can. There was a huge impact on the network because the attacks were well orchestrated by people who had knowledge of how the network worked.
“The damage to the cables in Ile-de-France and its impact on the fixed and mobile network has been confirmed,” French Minister of State for Digital Cedric O wrote on Twitter.
The Public Prosecution’s Internet Service has opened investigations into “encroachments on property that could harm the fundamental interests of the nation”, “an obstacle to an automated data processing system” and “criminal conspiracy”.
In March 2020, a communications cable was deliberately cut near Paris, as a result of which tens of thousands of customers of the telecom giant Orange were temporarily offline and data centers were disrupted. Orange and network operator Bouygues Telecom do not use the affected connections and do not experience any outages.