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What would happen if the Internet were to fall? Answered

With all the terrorism stuff going on, I've always wandered what would be next.

Ever since 9/11, I always asked myself were they would strike next, because they certainly did not intend to stop there.

My guesses have been that they would probably strike at either:

1) Elections - Either at the thing were they welcome the new president (sorry don't know much bout U.S. polimatics)

2) Beijing Olympics - Its an important event

3) Internet:

I came to realize that one of the worst things that they could do was attack the internet. I figured that one of these methods could be used:

  • Multiple malware methods. They could attack individual computers with worms
  • Somehow attacking diffrent countries methods of connection, being either telephone companies or whatever other methods they use (like those China underwater tube things)

* But my best guess would be that they would strike important service providing companies. They would destroy the companies methods (satellites, cable mainframe stuff etc...)

I would like this forum to have the porpose of disscussing terrorism issues and future issues like oil and so on. But mainly, what would happen if somehow, they attacked the internet?

Sure hope none of them read this, cuz if they didn't have this idea, now they would....

P.S. sorry, Im nt good with techie, so some of my points may not me accurate or clear. Please correct me if needed

50 Replies

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REA (author)2008-09-07

if they somehow destroy the internet it will literally have Revelations-like effects on the world. more wars, riots, possibly fire-rain. im serious (unlike most times).

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Keith-Kid (author)2008-09-05

1 IP adress for 1 a million people!!! That is hilarious!!! So, one guy searches a little porn, and the whole country is labeled as perverts!!!

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whatsisface (author)Keith-Kid2008-09-05

Something like that I suppose...

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Keith-Kid (author)2008-09-05

I'm gonna look that up in wikipedia before you edit it!

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whatsisface (author)2008-09-05

Did you know the entire country of Qatar got banned from editing Wikipedia? The whole country shares an ip address so when one person vandalised it, the whole country got banned!

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DJ Radio (author)2008-09-05

the storm worm was pretty close....................

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Firebert010 (author)2008-04-07

It cannot, for we have an army protecting us.

Nah just kidding. I'm pretty sure an attack suck as the ones described below isn't possible, or even if it is, how will the terrorists coordinate afterwards? I'm pretty sure satellites are Internet-based as well.

The worst they could do is cut off some connection between countries, easily repaired.

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Kiteman (author)Firebert0102008-04-08

I really ought to hover over links and read the url before I click

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tech-king (author)Kiteman2008-04-09
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Firebert010 (author)Kiteman2008-04-08

I don't see why it was a problem. That's 4chan's homepage. It's about as G-rated as Disney's website.

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Kiteman (author)Firebert0102008-04-09

Not when you click too fast as it opens and your young son's in the room. That's the first time "origami" has made me dive for the X in the corner.

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Kiteman (author)2008-04-07

How hardened are the main servers against EMP?

It is scarily-easy to make an explosive-driven EMP device

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tech-king (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

well, seeing as the servers would be isolated from their metal cases, which are grounded through the power supply, they should be able to resist decent emp blasting.

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NachoMahma (author)tech-king2008-04-07

. But the pulse can come in through the data cables (unless they are fiber-optic) and power wiring.

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-07

Metal cases? The last server I saw had a plastic case with a transparent door.

Anyhoo, I bet we could put a big dent in the net by letting these off in city commercial centres - London's Square Mile, Wall Street etc - especially if the attacks are coordinated (pretty easy to do, up until the point the bombs go off)

Some attacks can be very low tech - the whole Asian subcontinent is connected to the internet by just three sub-sea fibre-optic cables, two of which broke within a few days of each other. Other trans-continental connections are just as fragile (I think some are still copper!)

A single stab to the heart will kill, but so will enough cuts to the limbs.

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Kiteman (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

I wonder if Homeland Security are reading this?

Smiles and waves "hello" to Paranoid Men in Suits.

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Labot2001 (author)Kiteman2008-04-07
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Kiteman (author)Labot20012008-04-08

No, I only noticed as I clicked post.

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Labot2001 (author)Kiteman2008-04-09

Haha, those which go unnoticed are often the best!

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tech-king (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

guy in a suit: hello sir. you need to look into this tube
kiteman: why?
guy in suit: a simple eye exam
kitewife: go for it. maybe you hurt your eyes in the shed fire or your uv led instructable
kiteman: okay. fine looks n tube
FLASH
kitman: what were we talking about again?? and who are you??

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

. You could certainly cause localized disruptions that way and you could even turn large areas into "islands." But IP traffic is just as happy using satellites, radio, &c.; Heck, you could even use soup cans and string, if you're not too worried about bandwidth. . I'm not trying to say that an EMP attack wouldn't be VERY serious, it's just that the effects will be localized. From what I've read, it is very difficult to make an EMP source with appreciable power/range. Kinda like nukes. Sure, some rag-tag organization could put one together, but the yield will be very low. The idea of an EMP bomb that will shutdown a whole country/continent is still sci-fi.

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-07

The kind of bomb ~~I know how to build~~ have heard about takes little more than reasonable shop skills and access to C4 or similar. It will wipe out the electronics over a radius of half a mile or more (depending on the exact specs you use.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

. I don't consider 1/2 mile to be high-yield. Fantastic for a DIY project, but not so good for a WMD. And what kind of blast radius would such a large EMP source produce? 1/2m? 1/4m? . In a high-density area such as NYC, London, &c;, one could do quite a bit of damage, but it still wouldn't wipeout overall Internet traffic. Some would get routed through South America/Africa, some would go the other way around the world (NYC>West Coast>Asia>...). Might get some major slowdowns in trans-Atlantic traffic, but the network would eventually adapt. . As you mentioned in a prev post, there are a few bottlenecks, but even those lines are usually duplicated (or triplicated) so as to lessen the chances of a successful attack. . Personally, I think the effects on the cell phone system would be much more disruptive. The Internet Will Survive!

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-07

The EMP bomb only uses a kilo or so of C4 - not much in the way of actual blast at all.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

. Do they scale up well? Would two kilos double the effective range? Seems to me it would be an square root (maybe even log) relationship. I seem to have given away all the literature I had on the subject (electrical engineering journals), how about throwing a few good links my way? . I'm not trying to say that such a bomb wouldn't cause localized havoc, just not the "sky-is-falling/bring-down-the-Internet" scenario originally presented.

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-07

Here's a text description

The relative simplicity of the FCG and the Vircator suggests that any person with even a 1940s technology base, once in possession of engineering drawings and specifications, could make an E-bomb.As an example, a FCG can be made with basic electrical materials, common plastic explosives such as C-4 or Semtex, and readily available machine tools such as lathes and suitable mandrels for forming coils. A two stage FCG could be built for as little as US$1,000-2,000. Ivor Smith, an electrical engineer at Loughborough University who has worked on these devices for years, told New Scientist "You can build flux compressors smaller than a briefcase."

And here's a different site with diagrams.

This third site also has diagrams of the Vircator microwave device.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

. Thanks! That last link was very interesting.
. I still say these are laboratory devices and anything made without extremely tight QC will have fairly low yield/range (one city block or less). Not a threat to ignore, but not a Doomsday Machine, either. Most of the commenters at DefenceTech seemed to agree that it is not that big of a threat, even to individual installations (evidently, hardening against a terrorist-sized EMP is easier than I thought).
. As a military weapon, it makes sense - for terrorism, conventional bombs are, apparently, more effective. I'm guessing it's the shock value of killing ppl, instead of computers, that the terrorists like. I won't be too surprised if we have an EMP attack in the next year or two, but I will be surprised if it is very effective. Yeah, it might knock out a bunch of TVs, radios, cell phones, &c, might even trip a regional power black out, but the important infrastructure should survive and recovery should be swift.
. Have we beat this horse to death, yet? heehee

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-07

Sorry, I was listening to tech-king...

.... er ...

...what were we talking about?

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Keith-Kid (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

perhaps older bulkier computers? Rare, but still in use for big servers?

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Goodhart (author)2008-04-08

What would I do ? Start using the Library more often again..... :-)

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Keith-Kid (author)2008-04-06

how the crap did we go from global threat to emo discussion?

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Sunbanks (author)Keith-Kid2008-04-08

People like me tend to get off track quite a bit.... Like today, I was going to go get something from the shed at track practice but instead I started messing with a rope....

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Keith-Kid (author)Sunbanks2008-04-08

Rope! It's like string, only manlier!!!

Fairly Odd Parents

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Sunbanks (author)Keith-Kid2008-04-08

I was sitting on the rope because it was tied between two poles or whatever. It was fun :D

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Keith-Kid (author)Sunbanks2008-04-08

I'm an expert at sitting! If you need any help with sitting, you can ask me anytime!

on another note, googling "baby" brings up so many funny pics!!

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Sunbanks (author)Keith-Kid2008-04-08

I kept falling off though because my friend kept pulling it up lol.

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Keith-Kid (author)Sunbanks2008-04-08

you seriously do not know the embarrassment I feel because of this forum....wish I never made it :(

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Keith-Kid (author)Sunbanks2008-04-08

B-B..c..cc..Cuz all the big people is ...s..saying tha...that Im too offtopics!!! *waahh*!!!

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teaaddict314 (author)2008-04-08

"what would happen if the internet were to fail" simple, less fat kids.

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Keith-Kid (author)teaaddict3142008-04-08

Now that's an answer! simple and to the point! Say no to fat kids!

I'm not fat! I'm mildly obese!

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dsman195276 (author)Keith-Kid2008-04-08

i'm skinny, it weird because i play on the computer and videogames 5-7 hours a day.

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teaaddict314 (author)dsman1952762008-04-08

skinny does by no means mean healthy though.

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dsman195276 (author)teaaddict3142008-04-08

i know. i am not that skinny were i would have health problems though.

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Keith-Kid (author)dsman1952762008-04-08

fat kids play 6 hours. Youre in the clear, just 5-7, not 6. lol..

wait.....3...carry the one......54.......crud.........

Im not fat...

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