The New York Times reports “Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of conflict.
The issue goes beyond old Cold War worries that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task American intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. The alarm today is deeper: In times of tension or conflict, the ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent.
Admiral Ferguson speaking in Washington this month, said the operational tempo of the Russian submarine force was increasing. The intensity of Russian submarine patrols had risen by almost 50 percent over the last year. Russian Arctic bases and their $2.4 billion investment in the Black Sea Fleet expansion by 2020 demonstrate their commitment to develop their military infrastructure on the flanks, he said.
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