Vandals slice cable wires in Northern California in possible 'coordinated attack'

Someone sliced high-capacity fiber optic cables in Northern California Tuesday in the latest of a dozen cases that have prompted massive Internet outages and stoked fears of a "coordinated attack" as the FBI investigates.

The FBI is investigating the wave of attacks, which on Tuesday disrupted service in some areas of Northern California, including the Sacramento and Rocklin areas. The damage is being treated as vandalism, although Internet provider Wave Broadband called the outage part of a "coordinated attack" on fiber cables.

An FBI spokesman said it appears to be the latest in about a dozen acts of vandalism at San Francisco Bay Area locations in the last year.

According to USA Today, a person or persons broke into an underground vault and cut three fiber-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based service providers Level 3 and Zayo.

"When it affects multiple companies and cities, it does become disturbing," FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich told the newspaper. "We definitely need the public's assistance."

Repairs were underway late Tuesday morning, but there was no estimated time of when service would be restored.

Tuesday's outage is one of 11 attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California's San Francisco Bay Area within the past year.

Anyone with information about the incident Tuesday is urged to call the Sacramento FBI office at 916-481-9110.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.