Vodafone outage highlights security risk

01 Mar 2011

Soaring cable thefts and a break-in at a Vodafone network center in the UK serve as a reminder that network security goes beyond the virtual world.

Vodafone’s UK network suffered severe disruption yesterday after equipment was damaged and stolen from a network center in the south of the country.

Several hundred thousand customers were left without voice, SMS and mobile internet access for much of the day as Vodafone scrambled its engineers to restore services.

The Vodafone break-in came the same weekend that UK police revealed copper thefts have now reached record-breaking levels that make the problem second only to terrorism in terms of the threat to national security.

Thefts are on the up as criminals seek to cash in on a lucrative scrap metal market. A total of 2,770 cables were stolen in 2010, up 65% on 2009, and 325 cables of up to 250 meters have been stolen so far in 2011, The Independent reported. The British Transport Police has called for new laws to stop the trade, it said.

Punch ‘security’ into the search engine on the TelecomAsia homepage, and you’ll be rewarded with a wealth of articles covering the security of financial transactions, personal and corporate data, even the need for lawful interception of communications by governments.

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