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New focus on undersea Internet cable security after cuts

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Workers this week repaired recent cuts in undersea communications cables off the Egyptian coast that led to Internet outages throughout the Mideast and South Asia late last month. But the close timing of the cuts has fueled concern about possible terrorist attacks aimed at the physical, not cyber, links to the Internet.

Monday, telecommunications officials said repairs had been made to two of the cut Internet cables, reports the Associated Press. Although a definitive cause for five damaged cables has yet to emerge, reports indicate that an abandoned anchor damaged two cables and a power outage was responsible for the others, reports Agence France-Presse.

Lack of clarity and the area of the events, at the crux of two continents, fueled speculation about a deliberate cutting. India's Economic Times reports that the recent loss of service exposed the inherent vulnerability of the network, saying that "It provided a grim prospect of the net being hostage to terrorist attacks."

Hundreds of cables crisscross the globe, as a map in the Guardian of London shows. A map of the Mediterranean shows the location of the recently damaged cables.

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