Internet: Why outages are likely today

The conflict in Yemen and the Red Sea may affect your internet connection today and in the coming days due to boat anchorage.

MV Rubymar, a Belize-flagged cargo ship owned by a Lebanese company, was transiting the Red Sea on February 18, 2024, carrying a cargo of ammonium phosphate and sorbate fertilizers, when it was hit by Houthi missiles. It finally sank on March 2 after days of slow agony (thereby releasing its polluting cargo into the sea), the ship having previously been abandoned by its crew and diverted.

But this agony was far from marking the end of the affair, for, unfortunately, Rubymar's anchor encountered an obstacle in its path: submarine cables, which were quickly damaged. The incident was detected and reported by Hong Kong access provider HGC Global and the Pentagon.

Unfortunately, these aren't just cables, as they are crucial to the global Internet network, connecting Europe and Asia via the Middle East. In total, a quarter of the traffic between these three regions of the world is now described as severely disrupted Cy Security News.

Fortunately, providers (such as HGC) can redirect some traffic to other cables connecting the two areas, which helps mitigate (but not completely eliminate) the negative effects of this section of cable while waiting for a long-term solution.

Because if severed internet cables are highly repairable, the reality is that repairs won't start on some cables for at least a month, according to Seacom, the South African company that owns the cables. So don't be surprised if you experience some problems accessing certain parts of the internet in the coming days.

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The safety of submarine cables is an ongoing issue for internet companies and states, as such accidents can cause significant damage, especially if multiple ruptures occur simultaneously. The blockades created by the Houthis on global distribution, a blockade of which Rubimar is the most blatant symbol…). We realize the fragility of our globalized communication network, especially in a world threatened by emerging conflicts almost everywhere around the planet.

As for the situation in the Red Sea, it does not seem to have improved at the moment, with the Houthis expressing their desire to sink even more ships, particularly Israeli and Anglo-Saxon.

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