How Sharks, Malfunctions and Criminals Could Destroy the Internet

Breaking the Internet seems like an impossible task. The series of cables that connect nearly everyone and have a hand in all major industries such as banking, communications and even electrical systems seem secure — but it’s not invincible.

One way countries are connected are through the over 550,000 miles of cable across the ocean. They transmit over 99% of international data, unless they were severed by an earthquake, a ship’s anchor or a certain sea creature. Sharks are already on Google’s radar. The company is reportedly working on a shark-repellent cable.

Besides cables, IXPs, or Internet Exchange Points, where all Internet Service Providers connect are also susceptible to failure. This is where ISPs like AT&T and Comcast exchange traffic. There are only 30 IXPs in the world. One IXP out of commission would cause regional outages, if all 30 went out the internet would be severely impaired.

Physical damage to the virtual world is concerning but cyber attacks such as Border Gateway Protocol Hijacking could wreck havoc on the internet. Still interested? Read on in the infographic to learn more about how fragile the internet actually is.

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