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Technology / Cybersecurity

4 data centres that have survived bomb threats

Terrorism has been on governments’ agendas for a long time. There are plans of contingency for nearly all scenarios.

In 2012, the FBI released a paper – "FBI Bomb Data Centre" – in which explains the challenges faced by the industry as well as how data centre workers should react to such an event.

Over the last few years, a rising number of data centres have been evacuated due to bomb threats. Below, CBR details the most critical scenarios that have previously hit the industry.

1. Amadeus

When: 07/05/2015
Where: Erding, Germany

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Amadeus data centres, a major hub for the airline and hotel industries, was evacuated after a bomb threat was made via email to Swabia’s police headquarters.

30 personnel and four dogs were deployed on site, and a controlled explosion was carried out.

The surrounding area went into chaos, with all workers evacuating the area with their cars causing traffic jams.

Amadeus has an average response time of 0.5 seconds and is arrayed with more than 7,500 servers, accessing 95% of global scheduled network airline seats and undertaking over 1.6 billion data transactions a day.

It keeps data belonging to airlines like British Airways and Qantas and most hotel booking reservations in Europe.

2. Equinix

When: 22/05/2014
Where: Virginia, USA

Equinix’s Ashburn hub was targeted on May 22 of last year. CNN iReport said at the time that the sheriff’s office investigated the facility after a suspicious package was found.

The authorities were on the scene since noon that day and the threat was later dismissed.

Equinix’s Washington, DC, data centres comprise a hub of ten buildings in Ashburn and Vienna.

The campus has nearly 500,000 sq ft of collocation space and 10,000 cross connects.

3. Google

When: 17/04/2014
Where: California, USA

Google’s data centre in Berkeley, South Carolina, received a bomb threat in the morning of April 17, 2014.

Berkeley County sheriff’s Maj. Rick Ollic said that a note stating a bomb was going to go off was found around 9 am that day.

Inspection of the building lasted several hours and no employee was authorised to get into the data centre until late afternoon.

A Google spokesperson at the time said: "Our first priority is the safety and security of everyone on the site.

"We’re working with the relevant authorities to investigate the situation and are grateful to emergency services for their thorough and timely assistance."

4. NSA

When: 21/05/2012
Where: Utah, USA

The NSA or Utah Data Centre, officially named the ‘Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Centre for the US Intelligence Community’, is located at Camp Williams near Bluffdale, Utah.

The fourth largest data centre in the world was still under construction when at 11:30am May 21, 2012 workers were evacuated due to a bomb threat.

FBI agents reportedly searched the site where the 1.5 million sq ft hub was being built together with bomb-sniffing dogs.

The infrastructure was supposedly secret and built to house systems used by the spy agency to monitor worldwide communications.

During construction, the bomb threat was not the only incident as several power surges brought systems down over a period of 13 months, damaging equipment with costs surpassing the $1m mark.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.