Disruptions of submarine communications cables may cause blackouts or slowdowns to large areas. Countries with a less developed Internet infrastructure are more vulnerable due to small numbers of high-capacity links.
A line of research finds that the Internet with it having a "hub-like" core structure that makes it robust to random losses of nodes but also fragile to targeted attacks on key components − the highly connected nodes or "hubs".
|Year||Name||Country or region||Affected users||Number of affected users (rough)||Description||Duration (rough)||Internet component||Cause||Entity responsible||Type|
|2008||2008 submarine cable disruption||Middle East and Mediterranean Sea||Three separate incidents of major damage to submarine optical communication cables around the world occurred in 2008. The first incident caused damage involving up to five high-speed Internet submarine communications cables in the Mediterranean Sea and Middle East from 23 January to 4 February 2008, causing internet disruptions and slowdowns for users in the Middle East and India. In late February there was another outage, this time affecting a fiber optic connection between Singapore and Jakarta. On 19 December, FLAG FEA, GO-1, SEA-ME-WE 3, and SEA-ME-WE 4 were all cut.||submarine cables||Unknown||Unknown|
|2011||2011 submarine cable disruption||South Asia and Middle East||In two incidents of submarine communications cables cut off on 25 December 2011. The first cut off occurred to SEA-ME-WE 3 at Suez canal, Egypt and the second cut off occurred to i2i which took place between Chennai, India and Singapore line. Both the incidents had caused the Internet disruptions and slowdowns for users in the South Asia and Middle East in particular UAE.||submarine cables||Unknown||Unknown|
|2012||2012 Syrian internet outage||Syria||On 29 November 2012 the Syrian Internet was cut off from the rest of the world. The autonomous system (AS29386) of Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE) was cut off completely at 10:26 UTC. Five prefixes were reported to have remained up, this is why Dyn reports an outage of 92% of the country.||Unknown||Unknown|
|2016||Germany||Deutsche Telekom||900,000||At the end of November 2016 0.9 million routers, from Deutsche Telekom and produced by Arcadyan, were crashed due to failed TR-064 exploitation attempts by a variant of Mirai, which resulted in Internet connectivity problems for the users of these devices. While TalkTalk later patched their routers, a new variant of Mirai was discovered in TalkTalk routers.||1 day||Internet routers||cyberattack||Unknown||Full|
|2016||Liberia||Unknown||Mirai has also been used in an attack on Liberia's Internet infrastructure in November 2016.||cyberattack||Unknown||Full|
|2016||2016 Dyn cyberattack||United States||Dyn (company)||The cyberattack took place on October 21, 2016, and involved multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS attacks) targeting systems operated by Domain Name System (DNS) provider Dyn, which caused major Internet platforms and services to be unavailable to large swathes of users in Europe and North America. As a DNS provider, Dyn provides to end-users the service of mapping an Internet domain name—when, for instance, entered into a web browser—to its corresponding IP address. The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack was accomplished through a large number of DNS lookup requests from tens of millions of IP addresses. The activities are believed to have been executed through a botnet consisting of a large number of Internet-connected devices—such as printers, IP cameras, residential gateways and baby monitors—that had been infected with the Mirai malware. With an estimated throughput of 1.2 terabits per second, the attack is, according to experts, the largest DDoS attack on record.||1 day||Domain Name System (DNS) provider||cyberattack||Unknown||Major websites|
|2011||Armenia||3,000,000||A woman digging for scrap metal damaged land cables and thereby severed most connectivity for the nation of Armenia.||5 hours||land cables||digging||Full|
|2011||Egypt||The Internet in Egypt was shut down by the government, whereby approximately 93% of networks were without access in 2011 in an attempt to stop mobilization for anti-government protests.||ISPs||government censorship||Egypt||Full|
|2017||Cameroon||South-West and North-West of Cameroon||20% of the country's population||On January 17, around 20 percent of the people in Cameroon had their Internet blocked due to recent anti-government protests.||270 days or 8 months||government censorship||Cameroon||Full|
|2019||Verizon and BGP Optimizer||United States||Verizon (company)||On June 24, 2019, many parts of the Internet faced an unprecedented outage as Verizon, the popular Internet transit provider accidentally rerouted IP packages after it wrongly accepted a network misconfiguration from a small ISP in Pennsylvania, USA. According to The Register, systems around the planet were automatically updated, and connections destined for Facebook, Cloudflare, and others, ended up going through DQE and Allegheny, which buckled under the strain, causing traffic to disappear into a black hole.||3 hours||Internet transit provider||misconfiguration||Unknown||Major websites|
Internet outages can be prevented by a more resilient, decentralized Internet architecture.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2017)
Modern society, especially in developed countries, depends heavily on the Internet not just for communication. There have been some measures taken and possibilities exist for managing and countering a large-scale Internet outage.
Temporary alternative forms of communication
- Internet kill switch
- Internet censorship in the Arab Spring
- Just-in-time blocking
- Decentralization § Centralization and redecentralization of the Internet
- Critical Internet infrastructure
- Critical infrastructure protection
- Internet backbone
- Power outage
- Communications blackout
- Network congestion
- Protests against SOPA and PIPA
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- "How Verizon and a BGP Optimizer caused a major internet outage affecting Amazon, Facebook, CloudFlare among others". Retrieved 2019-06-26.
- "BGP super-blunder: How Verizon today sparked a 'cascading catastrophic failure' that knackered Cloudflare, Amazon, etc". The Register. 2019-06-24.
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