A 75-year-old Georgian woman is facing jail time after she accidentally sliced through an underground cable and causing all Internet services in neighboring Armenia to crash…. All three wholesale internet providers in Armenia — ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa — were unable to provide their usual service after the woman cut the cable, though services were restored after midnight…. the unnamed woman, who has been dubbed “the spade-hacker” by local media, is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property, and could face up to three years in prison if charged and convicted.
We live in a world in which vast amounts of information flashes by us in volumes and at speeds incomprehensible to most mere mortals. Businesses rise and fall on the Internet, empires founded on ideas and endless streams of binary numbers. With a robust system that ties the entire world together, you’d think that there would be protections in place that would prevent…wait for it…a 75-year-old woman with a shovel from disrupting Internet service to an entire country.
Amazing, isn’t it? We live in a world in which we can transmit ideas, transfer money, and purchase all manner of products and services with but a few key strokes.Yet, this vast and pervasive interconnectedness has some surprising and unexpectedly amusing holes. In this case, a septuagenarian copper thief in Georgia (the nation) can, with no more than a shovel and a little brute strength, sever Internet service to the entire nation of Armenia. That may sound funny, but when you think of how much commerce is conducted over the Internet these days, an interruption of service can have serious and far-reaching consequences. A 75-year-old woman with a shovel just cut an entire nation off (electronically speaking) from the rest of the world. Who needs to declare war when you can deploy shovel-wielding brigades of senior citizens?
Don’t put those stone tablets and carrier pigeons away just yet….