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Notorious Russian Ship Yanter Suspected of Cutting Syria’s Undersea Internet Cables

THE RUSSIAN NAVY’S PROJECT 22010 MINI-SUB HOST SHIP YANTAR / Currently parked off the Syrian coast. Source: MarineTraffic

A Russian ship, suspected by intelligence and military officials to be capable of cutting undersea Internet cables, is spotted near the coast of Syria. According to reports, presence of the ship (named Yanter), coincides with what researchers say is a marked uptick in the instability of Internet traffic in Syria.

Could be just a coincidence but: “It’s possible that the Internet outages in Syria and Yantar’s presence in the neighborhood are merely a coincidence. But the Internet in Syria has a history of going down at times that the regime of Bashar al-Assad has plotted military offensives, raising the possibility that Russia may be assisting in a communications blackout as its military forces pound rebel positions in the beleaguered city of Aleppo.” Shane Harris reporting in the Daily Beast

Is Yantar messing with a submarine cable in the eastern Med? Dyn’s Director of Internet Analysis, Doug Madory provided additional information on the situation this morning via email: “Russian vessel Yantar is currently parked off the Syrian coast. ... I have noticed a recent uptick in routing instability affecting Syria. ... My contact in Syria said that it is coming from problems on a submarine cable. ... Is the Yantar messing with a submarine cable in the eastern Med? The experts in the industry that I know say it is impossible to tap a submarine cable while it is underwater. There are a lot of coincidences here however. The Yantar is supposedly for scientific research purposes. Guess it recently decided to conduct some research off the coast of Syria.”

Also noteworthy, reported last year: “America’s intelligence community appears to believe the vessel [Yantar] is collecting data from underwater cables and spying on the US nuclear submarine fleet.” RT / 4 Sep 2015 “Just last month, the Russian spy ship Yantar, equipped with two self-propelled deep-sea submersible craft, cruised slowly off the East Coast of the United States on its way to Cuba - where one major cable lands near the American naval station at Guantánamo Bay.” New York Times / 26 Oct 2015

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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Both the MV Hounslow and the MT Ann were impounded... Charles Christopher  –  Oct 14, 2016 8:07 PM


“Both the MV Hounslow and the MT Ann were impounded upon reaching Dubai. One of the two—it’s not clear which—has already been released after its Korean owners agreed to pay an unstated amount of compensation. The other, Iraqi-owned, ship is in a bit more trouble, however, and sailors on the vessel may be taken to court. There’s no information available yet on why the two ships are being treated differently, or why specific sailors, rather than the ship’s owners, may be charged with damaging the cable.”

But such facts do no fit todays narratives ....

The experts in the industry that I know say it is impossible John Levine  –  Oct 18, 2016 1:43 AM

The experts in the industry that I know say it is impossible to tap a submarine cable while it is underwater.

They might want to check out the USS Jimmy Carter, and its predecessor the USS Parche.

>USS Jimmy CarterThanks for the reminder. I Charles Christopher  –  Oct 18, 2016 6:16 PM

>USS Jimmy Carter Thanks for the reminder. I recall hearing about is but could not recall the name. Here is the result of a simple search on the issue. From "The Fiber Optic Association Inc", How to Tap Fiber Optic Cables: http://www.thefoa.org/tech/ref/appln/tap-fiber.html "First, we start with a true story. In the mid-1980s, I (JH) submitted a paper to a military fiber optics conference that covered how to tap fiber, how to detect it was being tapped and how to secure communications in fiber in case it was tapped. the paper was classified and until it was declassified around 2005, was not discussed. " "These techniques are the ones most often used with fiber when there is easy access such as in central offices or regen huts. But it can be done with any cable as long as you can access it and work carefully. The US even has a submarine, the Jimmy Carter, equipped to tap undersea cables. "

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