North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Backbone Infrastructure and Secrecy

  • From: Charles Sprickman
  • Date: Wed Jul 09 22:10:09 2003

On Wed, 9 Jul 2003, Eric Kuhnke wrote:

> I recall reading, last year, about a "Cyber Bunker" outside London UK
> which is being offered as colo to major banks.  The banks were raving
> praise about it.  This facility is an ex-RAF centralized radar control
> site, buried dozens of feet underground w/ thick concrete and designed
> to withstand nuclear weapon overpressure.  Blast doors, EMF shielding,
> dual-redundant air filtered generators, the works.

In the US, American Tower is/was liquidating a number of cold war era
ex-AT&T blast-proof sites.  They are all in need of an upgrade, but the
basics are there (underground, multiple layers of concrete, blast doors,
etc.  Even "blast toilets".  I'm surprised some enterprising/paranoid soul
has not snatched a few of these up and converted them into secure offsite
storage.  Even without diverse routes, you can ensure safe data storage.


> The people who bought it and turned it into a colo neglected to mention
> one thing:  It's in the middle of a farm field with a single homed fiber
> route to Telehouse Docklands.
> Anyone have a backhoe?  *snip*
> At 05:30 PM 7/9/2003 +0100, you wrote:
> >[email protected] wrote:
> >> However we can work to spread out the infrastructure more so that it
> >> is harder for terrorists to find a single point of failure to attack.
> >> If they have to coordinate an attack on 3 or 4 locations, there is an
> >> increased probability that something will go wrong (as on 9/11) and
> >> one or more of their targets will escape total destruction.
> >
> >I hate to be a doom sayer, but any chump with a couple of tools and
> >rudimentary knowledge can lift manholes, cut cables and jump to another
> >location in minutes. No amount of diversity could defend against a concerted
> >attack like that unless you start installing very special low-level routes
> >away from street level into many many buildings. Maybe you guys in the US
> >are historically more paranoid, but London is just covered in single points
> >of major failure for telecoms.
> >
> >Protecting the switching centres (IP or voice) looks great, but walk a few
> >hundred feet and all senblence of physical security breaks.
> >
> >Peter