russian intelligence agents have reportedly gone ireland to inspect undersea cables reigniting fears they could cut them and take entire countries offline
Irish cable map

Submarine cable diagram

  • Russian agents have been sent to to inspect their submarine cables, raising concerns that they be tapped or cut in the future, According to the Sunday TimesTo quote the Irish police.
  • According to the Sunday Times, Irish security agencies suspect that the Russian agency GRU is using its country as a base for gathering intelligence on EU and British targets.
  • Experts on transnational crime and Russian security told this newspaper that the large number of tech companies based in Dublin could be another reason for Russia's suspected surveillance.
  • There has long been a fear that Russian spies will cut trans-Atlantic submarine cables to disrupt communications and financial transactions and take countries .
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Russian intelligence personnel have been sent to Ireland to accurately locate the submarine cables connecting Europe and North America, The Sunday Times reportsTo make people worry that they plan to pat or even cut them.

The Sunday Times quoted police and military sources as saying that Irish security services believed that the agents were sent by GRU, Russia's foreign intelligence agency, and they were examining the fiber optic cables for weak links.

According to the Sunday Times, they were also seen monitoring the Port of Dublin, prompting the country to strengthen security at many landing sites along the Irish coast. It's unclear where the agents are.

A vast transatlantic cable network across the world's oceans Powers the internet, text messages, calls and global financial transactions. According to the company, about 97% of intercontinental data is transmitted over these cables. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

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Given Ireland's proximity to North America and Europe, it's an ideal location on these subsea maps. In 2015, Irish telecommunications company Aqua Comms set up a $ 300 million cable to connect the United States with Dublin, London and Europe. Irish Examiner Report.

Undersea Internet Cable World Map

Submarine cable diagram

Map showing global submarine cables.

According to the Sunday Times, Irish police and military sources suspect that GRU is using Ireland as a base of operations to gather intelligence on EU and British targets.

The Sunday Times reports that another reason for the Russian presence may be that Dublin has become one of Europe's largest technology centers, as authorities suspect that these agents may also be monitoring large technology companies. , Airbnb, Facebook and Twitter all have headquarters in the city.

Mark Galeotti, a specialist in transnational crime and Russian security at the think tank of the Royal United Services Institute, told Russia's Sunday Times that Russia is also an ideal target for Russians.

"Ireland does not have anti-intelligence capabilities. This is a relatively soft target. Ireland is the main node of the global Internet. Ireland has a large number of technology companies." "This is a new battle space in the future."

Google Dublin Office

Peter Umley [Camerzind Evolution]

A picture of Google's Dublin headquarters in 2013.

The news of Russian agents arriving in Ireland has raised concerns that Russia may intensify its warfare by cutting or tampering with cables, which could disrupt global financial transactions and even take entire countries offline.

John Sipher, a retired CIA official in Moscow, told The Sunday Times that agents are likely to engage in espionage or plan to cut off communications.

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"They may also want to show their ability to threaten the West," he told British newspapers. "Our FBI has found Russians trying to enter underwater cables, including the areas they enter."

"They are also looking for physical access to routers and communication nodes," Sever said.

Submarine Internet Cable Diagram

Remote geography

Submarine cables connect the United States to the rest of the world. The screenshot time is 2018.

Western countries have long worried that Russia will cut off submarine cables and disrupt the global and lifestyle.

Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach is the most senior British officer, Said in December 2017"We face a new risk in our way of life, and that is the fragility of cables that cross the sea floor."

"Can you imagine such a situation? These cables being cut or interrupted would have an immediate and potentially catastrophic on our economy and other lifestyles?"

In 2018, Russian ships seen near important submarine cablesFurther speculation has been sparked that the Kremlin is looking for a new way to spy.

What is a submarine internet cable?

More than 300 submarine cables [550,000 miles in total] keep the internet running all around the world.

Most lines are owned by private telecommunications companies, including technology companies such as Google and Microsoft. Their position has been established for decades, Can be easily identified on public maps.

Despite their importance, little is done to protect and protect these deep-sea cables.

Cyber ​​security experts tell Business Insider Jim Edwards In 2018, it was only a matter of time for hackers to access these cables, and the entire country could be taken offline.

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