Danish Cable Provider Attacked? 8 replies

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The Dane

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#1 1 year ago

In Denmark, there's a tradition for people to watch the Queen's speech live on TV on New Years Eve. In fact, it's such a major tradition that in 2012, over 2 million of Denmark's 5.7 million inhabitants tuned in to watch it. 

This year, the numbers were probably significantly smaller. A few minutes before the speech was set to air, the entire cable network belonging to YouSee(a subsidiary of TDC Group) - one of the single biggest cable providers in Denmark - went offline. Serving over a million customers, it left a significant chunk of the Danish population without TV signal.

Now, it's naturally not unusual for outages to occur. Usually, they're localised. YouSee's network is especially sturdy, and only rarely seems to go offline for more than an hour or two. This outage, however, lasted thirty hours some places and required the provider to call in all staff. They haven't said anything about what caused it.

And that's where things get weirder; The Danish Defence Intelligence Service has said their cybersecurity unit has been assigned to help YouSee. Now, the CFCS holds oversight with the telecom sector, so that might explain their involvement. But it's still fairly unusual to see any unit of the DDIS involved.

Additionally, they've only explained it as an "extremely complicated physical breakdown".




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#2 1 year ago

You reckon it was sabotage?

Instances of hacking or infiltration of broadcast television are very rare, but not entirely unheard of. That being said, it's not really happened during the digital generation of television, and certainly not on this kind of scale.


Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



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The Dane

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#3 1 year ago

I'm not entirely sure what to think, to be honest.

The timing was incredible - literally minutes before one of the biggest, televised events of the year. If you wanted to make some sort of message to the Danish government without panicking the populace, it would certainly be the right time. The way it was handled sounded like they had to dispatch personnel to the affected areas to fix it, which could mean it's not an issue at their central.

Very strange, though.




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#4 1 year ago

Well, it will be interesting to see if this is handled publicly or swept under the carpet, that will say a lot about it.


Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



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The Dane

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#5 1 year ago

I, for one, am keeping an eye on the case. Not out of distrust, but out of genuine curiosity. 

They actually put out a compensation package that'll launch this Saturday, involving five free movies, access to a Viasat Premieres channel(full, recent movie premieres) and access to what I believe is Viaplay. Quite a nice package for a few hours of outage, really.




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#6 1 year ago

Yeah, they do that here when stuff goes wrong, they'll throw movies and sports up for free for a weekend and credit top tier customers.


Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



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#7 1 year ago

Oh yes, I forgot to mention; those offers won't last just the weekend. It'll be for the rest of the month. Which is why I said it's a great offer for a few hours of outage. I do think it might be a way for them to say, "Look - something went very wrong. We need time to investigate this, so we're going a bit above and beyond what we usually do, if you'll just quit nagging us for a month."

... Which is quite fine with me. There are at least two movies they mentioned that I'm interested in seeing!




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The Dane

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#8 1 year ago

So, update time.

TDC, the parent company of YouSee, have now reported the incident to the police under suspicion that it was an "intentionally harmful action" that caused it. Poorly translated, but they're essentially saying there's little chance it happened through a technical fault, and that it was, in fact, outright sabotage.

According to the statement released by TDC, the sheer complexity of the breakdown requires someone to have intricate knowledge of YouSee's platform and setup.




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#9 1 year ago

... And second update; a 51 year old Danish man has been arrested and his apartment has been raided by police officers, just hours after TDC filed the report. I can only imagine they knew exactly who caused it.

They haven't said anything about the man's relations to the company, and wouldn't comment on whether he was a former or current employee. So, I'm just gonna write up a quick timeline here;

December 31, 2016 Approximately 10-20 minutes before the Queen's annual New Years speech(aired at 18:00) is set to be broadcast live to millions of viewers, YouSee's TV signal goes offline for more than a million customers.

Initially, they expect it to be back online before 21:00. But as the deadline approaches, YouSee announces that they're unable to guarantee signal before midnight. As personnel is brought in, the scale of the outage becomes evident.

January 1-3, 2017 Signal is back online in the early hours of the new year for majority of customers, though some have to wait up to thirty hours for full recovery. YouSee, and their parent company TDC, begin analysis of the outage.

It's soon announced that the Centre of Cyber Crime - a branch of the Danish Defence Intelligence Service, and the supervisor of the telecom sector - is brought onboard to assist in analysis, per procedure.

January 4, 2017 TDC say that the outage was due to a "major physical fault". No further information is provided.

January 5, 2017 TDC announces they're filing a police reporter over the outage, after documentation shows certainty that it was intentional sabotage. A few hours later, a 51 year old Danish man living in Copenhagen is arrested, and his apartment is raided by police officers.

No accomplices have been arrested yet, nor is there any word on whether there are accomplishes.

Compiled to the best of my memory.