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back to article BT's Mayfair exchange downed by burglary

BT's Mayfair exchange was burgled last night, leaving thousands of homes and businesses in central London without internet access this morning. The raid cleaned out routers, networking cards and fibre at about 9pm on Wednesday, Reg sources said. According to data at Samknows, the exchange serves about 3,000 residential premises …

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Coat

I've been into that building

the exchange itself is, I believe, on the first and second floors, the rest of them being occupied by some chunk of BT's other operations (I have a feeling it might be wholesale, but I wouldn't swear to it). There are doors into the exchange area served by the main stairwell, which also includes a lift shaft, which comes out at ground level into a teensy reception area directly behind the door into Farm Street, which is next to the pub. The street itself is VERY quiet even in the middle of the day, to the extent that there's a sign on the inside of the door saying something to the effect of "Please don't slam the door, it pisses the neighbours off". I didn't make a detailed survey of the security measures.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I would very strongly suspect an inside job: it really wouldn't be that hard to get a few mates in through the front door, set about the hardware, lump it back out to a waiting BT van and make good your escape.

Coat as in helping oneself to the contents...

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Dead Vulture

@@Took you guys long enough!

Obviously, he was part of the original ring. How else would he have known?

Mine's the one with the foil in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Ignorance is bliss

>I would very strongly suspect an inside job

Couldnt agree more, smacks of someone getting an OBASS card as a contractor and hanging on to it for use at a later date.

Oh and all those snotty sods on the proverbial high horse about how their datacentre has armed guards, starving rotties, minefields etc. for security, please consider this: Its an exchange NOT a datacentre.

By law BT have to give equal access to ALL CP's and their contractors, anything less and OFCOM would be jumping on throats. This means that security can never be as tight as everybody would like.

This is a serious incident but small beer compared to the thefts that are being made of cable throughout the network, copper fetches a good price and its being ripped out of the ground almost daily.

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Anonymous Coward

effect of outage

the exchange affected a lot of businesses that connect into london including government. I work on a servicedesk for gov dept and we were mostly out of business until about 3pm. w couldnt get into systems and remote offices could not connect to london.

re kit stolen , what are they going to do with it ?? I think it will leave country. theives maybe have ££ in eyes and dont know that if connected will be seen and if sold abroad it is throw away as cisco will want ££ for support and they know who they sold it to !!

Imagine buying a stolen porsche abd the first time it breaks down being told that thay wont give you the parts or help !! (and the local fuzz come knocking on your door )

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Final Mile...no real DR or re-routing...

This stuff seems to be all local Final Mile routing stuff, so if there was any redundancy it was probably in the same building and stolen too. Despite all of the talk of the internet being redundant to route around failure, every residential node has ONE final connection to the rest of the network, and that's what they took - the entire exchange's worth of final connections.

Hard to blame BT for this, or even accuse them of incompetence - sometimes the cost of preventing any and all crime costs a lot more than the crime itself would be worth...

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Illegal pics?

No!! It's a private Company

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What a dump you lot work in.

Give me my 12 miles of open countryside any day. Our phone exchange is a wooden hut over in the next village (near the duck pond, and across the road from the thatched cottage).

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Anonymous Coward

@ Alan

Wooden hut, you say? Hmm...

/goes to buy chainsaw and help self to contents of said hut

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Alert

Communications Act 2003 section Schedule 17 para 2

@ Chris Williams - the key part of the Spy Blog article is actually the reference to rhe

Communications Act 2003 section Schedule 17 para 2

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/ukpga_20030021_en_59

"Official Secrets Act 1911

2 For the purposes of the Official Secrets Act 1911 (c. 28), any electronic communications station or office belonging to, or occupied by, the provider of a public electronic communications service shall be a prohibited place. "

This certainly does cover a BT telephone exchange.

Luckily for you, and for all the tourists who take photos of the BT Tower, the Official Secrets Act 1911 power of arrest was repealed by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, along with a dozen or so other obsolete powers of arrest (although the authorities now seem to want to reinstate these), and requires consent for prosecution to be given by the Attorney General.

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Flame

Re-arrange, jerk, knee, act, ion and re

- BT did have redundancy and contigency in place, an automatic switch over to Ilford took place immediately.

- Only cards were stolen, damage was done by the forced removal of said cards.

- Have a chat with the regulator about not allowing other line operators and their sub-contractors into BT Exchanges?

- Establish all facts before gobbing off?

- Remove foot/feet from mouth if you're an ignoramus talking out of your ar$e.

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Pirate

Name rings a bell

apart from sharing a name with a men's magazine the exchange does or did something important once however cannot remember what. (Section 5 1989 Act)

AFAIK BT has its Openreach Headquarters on the 4th floor

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