News reports like this one at the London Telegraph began reporting yesterday and again today that thieves had, using a van as a battering ram, broken into an unmanned Vodafone exchange in Basingstoke between 0100 and 0200 Monday morning, London Time. Once inside the thieves took specialized networking and IT equipment that shut down voice, text and mobile Internet services across a wide area of England.
The Telegraph story says:
Vodafone UK, with 19 million customers, said last night that several hundred thousand customers were affected by the theft.
While most service seems to be back to normal this afternoon (voice calling returned at 1300 yesterday), the Telegraph reports that some customers seem to still have trouble regaining all of their services.
Vodafone is saying that it is now reviewing its security measures at its other networking facilities with the police. No doubt the other major telecoms in the UK are doing likewise.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.