The Spade Hacker: Severing Armenia's Internet Access With Nothing More Than A Spade
She set out to find some copper wire to scavenge. Instead, a 75-year-old woman from Georgia inadvertently hit and severed fiber optic cables that cut millions of users in Armenia and Azerbaijan off the internet for a good twelve hours or so.
On March 28, internet users in the region were greeted with an unpleasant surprise when their access to the world wide web was cut off. It was a shutdown that hackers could only dream of but have never managed to do as of yet. Instead, this elderly woman, dubbed locally as the "spade hacker", who never intended to do such a thing now faces up to three years in prison for charges of "damaging property."
The damaged fiber optic cables are owned by the Georgian Railway Telecom company, which is the provider for most of eastern Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The head of the company's marketing company, Giorgi Ionatamishvili, said that customers suffered "massive and catastrophic" damage. He added: "I cannot understand how this lady managed to find and damage the cable. It has robust protection and such incidents are extremely rare."
A Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman has stated to the press that the woman was released pending the completion of the investigation and the subsequent trial due to her old age.