Fears are growing that Russia could target British energy cables and data cables, effectively cutting it off from the global grid and putting lives in the United Kingdom at risk as hospitals lost power, wiping billions off the economy as banks were unplugged from the global system, cutting off remote communities, and potentially sparking riots
- Ben Wallace warned Thursday that Russia has tools to attack the United Kingdom’s undersea infrastructure
- Fears of such an attack date back to 2015, but fresh concerns are now growing as the threat has evolved
Picture the scenario: Far out of sight of land, in the remotest parts of the North Sea, a fleet of miniature submarines and frogmen slip unnoticed from the decks of Russian spy ships and make their way to the seabed.
Here they find the arteries that keep the UK alive: Cables and pipes that carry everything from gas to electricity, banking data to military communications.
Then, all at once, the links are cut.
It may seem far-fetched, but fears are growing that the Kremlin is preparing for just such an attack after Russian vessels were caught snooping on Britain’s shores earlier this year, with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warning on Thursday that Russia has ‘the intent and the ability’ to sabotage the West’s critical infrastructure.
And experts warn such an attack would be ‘disastrous’ for the UK, putting lives at risk as hospitals lost power, wiping billions off the economy as banks were unplugged from the global system, cutting off remote communities, and potentially sparking riots.
He added: ‘Russia has the intent and the capability to target the West’s critical national infrastructure. We have to have the intent and the capability to defend it.’
Russia’s underwater threat is nothing new, and researchers have been warning about potential sabotage attacks since at least 2015.
But back then the main concern was undersea internet cables, through which 95 per cent of the world’s internet traffic and $10trillion of financial transactions pass every day.
In 2017, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – then a backbench MP – wrote a report warning of the ‘existential’ threat faced by the UK in the event of a coordinated attack on these cables, most of which are no thicker than a hosepipe.
The pipes are poorly protected, would take only basic skills to find and break, and have no backup system because satellites cannot handle the volume of data they carry.
‘Short of nuclear or biological warfare, it is difficult to think of a threat that could be more justifiably described as existential than that posed by the catastrophic failure of undersea cable networks as a result of hostile action,’ Mr Sunak wrote.
Fears are growing that the Kremlin is preparing for an attack on Britain’s infrastructure after Russian vessels were caught snooping on Britain’s shores earlier this year, with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warning on Thursday that Russia has ‘the intent and the ability’ to sabotage the West’s critical infrastructure
Six years on, fresh fears are now growing as the threat has evolved.
Russia has since invested heavily in sea-bed warfare technology and owns ships and submarines capable of operating mini-subs and robots to work at great depth, that could potentially carry out sabotage attacks.
And in October last year, Ministers ordered an urgent survey of undersea power and internet cables amid fears Russia may have already targeted them with mines.
READ FULL ARTICLE:
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol –Independent Reporter
Contact by mail: email@example.com
Contact by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org