France opens investigation into ‘serious’ sabotage of internet network

The targeted networks are believed to include long-distance underground fibre optic cables linking Paris to several major French cities, including Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille and their surrounding areas. [Shutterstock/Pinkyone]

The Paris public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation after the internet network was sabotaged in the Paris region and east of the country.

On Wednesday night (27 April), unidentified individuals cut a number of internet cables in the space of a few hours.

The disruption did not affect many households, but the Paris public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation for “attacking the fundamental interests of the Nation” and “criminal association”. The Directorate-General for Internal Security (DGSI), the French intelligence services, is also involved in the investigation.

The targeted networks are believed to include long-distance underground fibre optic cables linking Paris to several major French cities, including Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille and their surrounding areas.

These acts of vandalism were “coordinated”, according to a source at the economy ministry quoted by L’Obs. This is a “very rare” and “serious” event given the extent of the damage and the coordination shown by the perpetrators, according to the same source.

The choice of cables targeted also raises questions, as internet operator Free indicated that “three of the four arteries” of its network were vandalised. AFP reported that “this kind of incident on this scale never happens” according to a source close to the case.

(Davide Basso | EURACTIV.fr)

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