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What Would It Take to Shut Down the Entire Internet?

Not too long ago, we here at Giz Asks contemplated what might happen if the entire internet shut down at once. One imaginative stumbling block, in playing out the implications of that scenario, was how something like that could happen in the first place. And so—without advocating any of the methods described below, or strongly suggesting that hundreds or thousands of like-minded heroes band together to take this sucker down once and for all—for this week’s Giz Asks we’ve asked a number of cybersecurity experts how exactly one would go about shutting down the entire internet.

Everything being connected today may bring along significant convenience, but it also implies that everything can be hacked. What if the nation’s power grid were successfully attacked? No electricity also means no internet access. The internet also relies on physical infrastructure, such as subsea cables and other fiber cables: any infrastructure issues (cable cuts, damages), whether due to criminal activity or natural disasters that were to affect major subsea cables could potentially shut down the Internet.

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