Three undersea cables between Europe and Middle East cut

Since around 07.30am GMT this morning, three undersea cables (SMW3, SMW4 and FLAG) are disrupted between Italy and Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea.
Combined, these three cables are carrying around 75% of the traffic between Europe and Middle East.

The reason of the damage has not yet been identified, but there were reports of seismic activity near Malta around teh same time the outage started.

The cables have not been completely cut, but have been damaged to a degree affecting a high number of the individual fibers within the three cables. France Telecom provides further details about the effect of this outage onto connectivity between the different regions in a press release:

Most of the B to B traffic between Europe and Asia is rerouted through the USA.
Traffic from Europe to Algeria and Tunisia is not affected, but traffic from Europe to the Near East and Asia is interrupted to a greater or lesser extent (see country list below).
Part of the internet traffic towards Réunion is affected as well as 50% towards Jordan.
A first appraisal at 7:44 am UTC gave an estimate of the following impact on the voice traffic (in percentage of out of service capacity):
–    Saudi Arabia: 55% out of service
–    Djibouti: 71% out of service
–    Egypt: 52% out of service
–    United Arab Emirates: 68% out of service
–    India: 82% out of service
–    Lebanon: 16% out of service
–    Malaysia: 42% out of service
–    Maldives: 100% out of service
–    Pakistan: 51% out of service
–    Qatar: 73% out of service
–    Syria: 36% out of service
–    Taiwan: 39% out of service
–    Yemen: 38% out of service
–    Zambia: 62% out of service

France Telecom immediately alerted one of the two maintenance boats based in the Mediterranean area, the “Raymond Croze”. This France Telecom Marine cable ship based at Seyne-sur-Mer has received its mobilization order early this afternoon and will cast off tonight at 3:00 am with 20 kilometers spare cable on board. It should be on location on Monday morning for a relief mission.
Priority will be given to the recovery of the Sea Me We4 cable, then on the Sea Me We3.
By December 25th, Sea Me We4 could be operating. By December 31st, the situation should be back to normal.

The outage has been picked up by a number of news websites. Here are some examples:

BBC News: Severed cable disrupts web access
Bloomberg News: Severed Cables in Mediterranean Disrupt Communication

Cisco ASR 9000

Cisco ASR 9000

Cisco ASR 9000

Cisco has released, as announced, some information on a new Access router platform. It is not as anticipated by many called the ASR14000, but it is, surprise, the  ASR9000.

At the time of writing, not all of the information has been published on the Cisco Website so I can’t  provide a lot of details yet, but to give you an idea, here are some facts as published in the brochure:

  • 6 slot and 10 slot configuration
  • 400 gigabits per slot
  • 6.4 terabits per chassis
  • IOS XR
  • Cisco Advanced Video Services Modules (AVSM)
  • Linecards are Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) ready
  • Modular power supplies, brought online as required when capacity is increased

More details will follow once they have been published by Cisco.

Cisco: A fraction of a second

There is a lot of speculation happening these days regarding a mysterious announcement on the Cisco website these days. The amount of information on the website is limited mainly to a short video clip and indicating that the full announcement will be next week on the November 11th.

Some of the rumours say that this will be the release of a new access router platform, rumored to be called the ASR 14000. There is not a lot of information out there officially so far. had a short post about the new platform recently, but the post has been taken down shortly after. You can still find a copy of it in Google’s cache. The post confirmed that the new platform is based on the CRS-1 hardware (with some restrictions) and will be running IOS-XR.

Connectivity between Sprint-Nextel and Cogent restored

Sprint-Nextel announced on Sunday that “they initiated a temporary reconnection to the Cogent network while longer term alternate and permanent access options are explored.”

The detailed statement from Sprint provides the long awaited point of view from their side of things. The facts (as seen by Sprint) include a one to one comparison of the statements made by Cogent and how Sprint sees things:

– On october 30th, they indeed disconnected the final two interconnects, but this was only the last step of disconnecting all of the originally existing 10 interconnects. The started the process of disconnecting those 10 circuits on October 7th, so it was hardly a surprise for Cogent.

– Sprint confirms yet again that both parties entered a trial peering agreement in September 2006, which ended in September 2007.

– Sprint filed a lawsuit on September 2nd against Cogent for breach of contract due to Cogent refusal to pay Sprint for the ongoing connection to the Sprint network. Sprint also provided Cogent with a 30 days advance notice of the disconnection.

It will be interesting to see what the final outcome of this will be, since as mentioned above, the reconnection is only temporary.

Decrypt Juniper $9$ passwords

Although this is not strictly a news item, I thought it would still be of interest to a lot of you. There are many websites out there which allow you to crack/decrypt Cisco 7 passwords/hashes. The algorithm used by Cisco isn’t particularly complicated, and it is a well known fact that it is easy to decrypt them, which comes in handy in many situations.

Doing the same for Juniper $9$ passwords is a different story. Not many tools allow you to decrypt those. Well, actually, that isn’t the case anymore:

Head-over to for an easy way to decrypt Cisco AND Juniper passwords!

Sprint-Nextel: The reason for the de-peering

As we wrote earlier, Cogent and Sprint-Nextel are in the midst of a peering dispute. Slowly more details are appearing which gives us a better view on what happened and ended in the disconnection. Both companies entered a peering agreement in November 2006. According to the information posted by The Register, Sprint confirms that this was purely a trial agreement, and Cogent does actually not fulfill all of the requirements defined in that agreement, in particular in regards of traffic levels exchanged between the two networks.
Matthew Sullivan (Sprint) told The Register: “Cogent failed to satisfy the peering criteria that was laid out in the agreement and refused to pay Sprint to stay connected to our network”.  Cogent does not agree to the financial compensations defined in the agreement, and as a consequence, after a long period of discussions and giving Cogent advance notice of the plan, Sprint-Nextel deactivated the connections and end the agreement.

The view from Cogent is rather different. Dave Schaeffer (CEO, Cogent) is quoted at The Register: “We were notified by Sprint that they wished to change the method of measuring utilization” and “We protested and explained that this was in violation of the agreement.”

Both companies are currently at curt over this issue, which will certainly not help in a fast resolution of the issue.

Update: Om Malik (GigaOM) has also picked the story up in a blog post and provides some further information.

Sprint-Nextel depeers Cogent (updated)

What started as with a few messages on several ISP focused mailing-lists has been confirmed by Cogent in a press release today: Sprint-Nextel and Cogent have interrupted their peering connections, and as such customers from both networks can no longer reach the other network.

As a lot of you know, this is not the first time Cogent has been in the middle of a peering dispute, and so far, with no information from Sprint-Nextel on the matter, it is unclear what the reason behind the issue is, and who actually started the trouble.

Update: Head over to the Renesys blog to get Todd Underwoods detailed analysis of the situation. As always, worth reading. Their data gives details about the number of networks which are affected by this dispute:
– 289 autonomous systems are single homed behind Cogent
– 214 autonomous systems are single homed behind Sprint
All of these networks are currently not able to reach each other!

Randy Epstein (President, WV Fiber) informed the readers of the NANOG mailing list that the WV Fiber network (AS19151) is currently also affected by this since they only contract with Sprint for Transit, and is settlement free with the rest of its peers, which doesn’t include Cogent anymore since late last year when Cogent depeered AS19151 for unknown reason.

Update 2: Further information can be found in an article at the Arbor Networks blog, giving also an idea of the amount of traffic exchanged between AS174 and AS1239. But still, no information has surfaced so far about the actual cause of the de-peering. – a DoS attack with a twist

Revision3 logo

During the last weekend (Memorial day weekend) the website of the very popular Internet Television network Revision3 were down during many hours following a massive DoS (Denial of Service) attack

Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3 has provided a detailed write-up of last the event. It is for sure an interesting read, and the story is far more interesting as it might look like on a first view. DoS attacks are nothing unusual these days, but this case is different. The Revision 3 guys investigated over the past days to identify the source of the attack, hoping to get a better understanding would would have an interest in bringing down their services. The IP addresses at the source of the DoS attack belong to a rather “famous” subsidiary of Artistdirect: MediaDefender.

MediaDefender has been known in the past for their sometimes highly discussed efforts to “fight” the spreading of illegally traded copyrighted material, especially through peer-to-peer networks.

After talking to MediaDefender, they admitted that they were abusing Revision3s torrent tracker (which is used purely to distribute Revision3s own shows) by injecting a broad array of torrents into the tracker, without the knowledge of Revision3.

Jim Louderback describes the situation the following way in his post on the Revision3 blog:

It’s as if McGruff the Crime Dog snuck into our basement, enlisted an army of cellar rats to eat up all of our cheese, and then burned the house down when we finally locked him out – instead of just knocking on the front door to tell us the window was open

Louderback also confirmed that the FBI is investigating and that “it’s far more serious than toddlers squabbling over broken toys and lost cookies.

Read the full post here.

The day the YouTube died

Not strictly news, but anyway. Following the big success of Gary Feldmans interpretation of American Pie at RIPE 55 (The Day the Routers died…), Todd Underwood performed his cover version at the recent Global Peering Forum:
The Day the YouTube died – Enjoy!

The lyrics along with a links to the mentioned “events” can be found at the Renesys blog.

Looking forward to whoever will be the next in the series of performing a new version of American Pie!

Rackspace: New Headquarters – VideoTour

Rackspace Logo
Robert Scoble
recently had been invited to do a tour of the new to be Headquarters. Their new site is currently been build by converting a former mall in San Antonio.

The video is over half an hour long and filled with information and insights into the workings of Rackspace and the Datacenter industry in general.
Robert Scoble is guided through the building by Graham Weston, chairman, Dirk Elmendorf, Chief Technology Evangelist and Founder and Lew Moorman, SVP of Strategy and Corporate Development.