Nearly 100% of the global Internet traffic is dependent upon deep-sea networks of fiber-optic cables that cover the ocean floor. As much as Â¾ of the international communications between the Middle East and Europe are carried by two undersea cables: SeaMeWe-4 (which stands for South East Asia Middle East West Europe) and FLAG Telecom’s FLAG Europe-Asia cable. On January 30, 2008, both of these cables were cut, severely disrupting Internet and telephone traffic from India to Egypt. A few days later, on February 1, 2008, another undersea cable was cut in the Persian Gulf and two days after that, on February 3, 2008, another Middle East cable was cut. On February 4, 2008, a report was issued indicating two more cables had been cut. Five high-speed submarine communication cables had been cut which caused disruptions and slowdowns for users in the Middle East and India. And nobody was sure how or why the cables were cut.
Organizers of the so-called Operation Payback today asked for and appear to have received additional bots from established botnets to further their cause of disrupting firms they perceive as deterring Internet freedom of speech by not supporting WikiLeaks and its now-incarcerated founder, Julian Assange, according to researchers at Imperva.