Could The Internet Ever Be Destroyed?! DEBUNKED

Today almost all of us live online and the
internet touches everything we depend on, so it would be pretty horrifying if it all
just stopped. Across the globe there are an estimated 4.4
billion internet users, spending, on average, 6 hours per day engaged in digital activity. In the UK, we check our smartphones every
12 minutes. It’s one of the first things we do when we wake up and one of the last
things we do at night. Collectively, we’re a bunch of internet
addicts. To get a scale of just how big the internet
has become, before the end of this video more than 450 million messages will be sent on
WhatsApp, 6.25 million people will have logged into Facebook and 5,000 hours of video will
have been uploaded to YouTube. Indeed, the web created my job working on
Debunked, and I’m not the only one. It’s estimated that the Internet has created
2.6 jobs for every 1 it has caused to disappear. Its economic importance is massive. By 2020,
e-commerce alone will be worth more than $4 trillion to the global economy, driven by
spending in places like China where more than one in five of all retail sales are made online. Remember, in 1995 fewer than 1% of the world
was online. Today society is dependent on it. Our power grids are coordinated via the
internet. The global banking system needs it to move money around the world. Cell phone
networks rely on it to function. Public transport. Water supplies. You name it. Almost everything
is connected to the internet in some way. So what would happen if the internet suddenly
disappeared and the world went offline? And could it all be taken down, by a single person? I’m Stu, this is Debunked and we’re here
to sort the truths from the myths, and the facts from the misconceptions. This video is made with the support of ‘Dashlane’
– the safe and simple way to store passwords and personal information, and securely manage
and protect your digital life. Discover for free how much easier life can be when you
never forget another password. For most of us shutting down the internet
seems completely unthinkable, but it actually happens more often than you think, just on
a local scale. In June 2018, Algeria shut down internet access across the entire country
for three hours every day to prevent cheating during school exams. This anti-cheating method has been used in
other parts of Africa as well as areas of Asia. According to a report by The Global Network
Initiative, access to the web was deliberately disrupted on more than 100 occasions in 2017
– and not always to stop people getting grades they don’t deserve. The consequences of shutting down the net,
even for a brief window of time, can be serious. “Shutting down digital communication often
disproportionately harms marginalised and vulnerable groups, cripples the local economy,
and creates cascades of chaos with consequences we cannot fully fathom.” The knock on effect for the wider world isn’t
small either, such disruptions are said to have cost the global economy $200 billion
between 2015 and 2016. Obviously, cheating on your exams is a pretty
serious misdemeanour but in practice, governments look to go offline during emergencies. Egypt famously shut down internet access for
almost a week in 2011, during the Arab Spring. The UK already has laws allowing for the internet
to be shut down in a major emergency and Russia reportedly has plans to develop
an internet kill switch, which would take the country offline in the event of a cyber
crisis. But these are examples of a single country
going offline deliberately and for a short period of time. What would happen if there
was a global internet blackout that lasted weeks or even months? Obviously, and thankfully, that hasn’t happened
because if it did, things would likely go south pretty quickly. “The only credible post-Internet visions
are all tied to civilizational collapse [like] global pandemics [and] nuclear catastrophes.
The hidden message in all of those scenarios is that if the only way to convincingly imagine
a world without an Internet is to imagine a world without civilization, then to a first
approximation, the Internet has become our civilization.” So, in the first few days, panic begins to
sweep the world and people respond by stockpiling food. It’s not long before shelves are empty and
restocking them won’t be easy, since stores use online inventory systems to keep track
of supplies and order replacements. Actually buying the food is also a challenge. The global economy would have ground to a
halt pretty quickly. Stock markets are closed and bank to bank transactions have ceased. Your card has stopped working and so have
most ATMs, since they’re usually connected to the net. Cash becomes unbelievably important. Let’s
hope you have a piggy bank. After a week things are starting to get serious.
Local power outages grow into large scale blackouts as national power grids become imbalanced
without the internet to coordinate them. Gas pipelines, which need power and the internet,
also stop working. Crime is starting to ramp up and the economy
has descended into a barter system. People start grouping together for protection. Smaller
businesses have gone bust. Things are looking bleak. By month’s end, fuel shortages are preventing
food deliveries and riots are common, especially around distribution centres. It’s become
a fight for survival. After a year, we’re looking at the complete
breakdown of society. According to a particularly bleak prediction by the BBC’s Science Focus
magazine, around a billion people would have died from a combination of unrest, cold and
starvation. The global economy would be back to 1930s levels. For all that to happen though, someone would
need to take the whole web down, and that won’t be easy. The internet is designed to keep working even
in the most extreme circumstances. Take a look at this map. At first you might
be mistaken for thinking it’s something to do with the human brain but you’d be
wrong. It’s actually a partial map of the internet from back in 2005, with each line
essentially representing a connection within in it. What it also shows is just how decentralised
the whole thing is. Let’s say you and I download the same file from the internet,
the data could end up taking very different routes before it reaches us. Ultimately, you might be able to take out
one part of the internet, but the rest will keep on trucking. Even in areas that were
disrupted, the information travelling through that section could potentially get re-routed
and still reach its intended destination. In other words, the internet is a pretty tough
nut to crack. But it’s not invulnerable. Take the physical
backbone of the internet, for example. Approximately 99% of all internet traffic is pinged around
the globe via underwater sea cables, which are cheaper and faster than sending data via
satellite. Now, you’re probably assuming that there’s
loads of these cables given just how much data we’re producing. I mean, the USA alone
uses over 2.6 million gigabytes of internet data every minute. Surprisingly though, that doesn’t translate
into a lot of cables. At the end of 2017 there were 428 cables doing the heavy duty work
of connecting our planet. What isn’t a surprise though, is that those
cables stretch out over an incredibly long distance, coming in at 750,000 miles combined,
that could loop the Earth 30 times and means there’s a lot of opportunities where you
could cut those precious cables, and cable cutting has happened before. In 2008, several cables were cut in the Mediterranean
and the Middle East, the result was widespread internet chaos. India’s nationwide network
suffered 60% disruption, Egypt got it even worse with 70%. Approximately 75 million people
were left with limited internet access across the region. The damage was thought to have
been caused by a ship dropping anchor. Plus, there are only a few locations where
these undersea cables rise out of the ocean to connect us here on land. These hubs are
also potential weak spots in the internet’s armour. The cable hub in Miami, for example,
handles around 90% of the internet traffic between North America and Latin America. If
someone were to destroy it you’d be causing a lot of grief to millions of people. Even if you can’t swim or don’t want to
leave the house, you still might be able to bring about an internet apocalypse. Most of you probably won’t remember October
21st 2016, possibly because you were so bored as sites like Netflix, Reddit and Spotify,
amongst others, were down for many users in the US and Europe. The huge outage of key sites was the result
of a huge cyberattack on Dyn, a company that provides domain name services, which are pretty
crucial to how we use the internet. Basically, every time you type in a web address,
let’s say, the domain name system translates that into the IP address
of the server you’re trying to access. Without it, instead of having to remember you’d have to type in something like this… It doesn’t
exactly scream memorable. Not only that but without the DNS you’d
have to remember those long strings of numbers for every website you wanted to use. In other
words, take down the entire DNS and you make the internet unusable for most people. The attack on Dyn was what’s known as a
distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, where the company’s servers were effectively
overwhelmed by fake information requests, meaning everyday users like you and me couldn’t
get through. Despite the impressive scale of the attack, with users across the Eastern
part of the USA particularly affected, the attack lasted just a day and it wasn’t constant.
It came in a series of waves, each lasting a couple of hours. But what if a cable cutting mad person decided
to go rogue or a dedicated cyber criminal wanted to send a deluge of traffic to DNS
services across the world? Could they take down the internet? Could they do it single
handedly? Let’s imagine our villain is a really good
swimmer, then it might be possible for them to cut a cable or two. In 2013, for example,
three men were arrested in Egypt after attempting to cut through an undersea internet cable.
They’d damaged it severely enough that Egyptian online services suffered a noticeable slowdown. Two years later, someone simply went cable
cutting by climbing down manholes in California and managed to slow down internet speeds across
the state. But here’s the thing about cable cutting,
it happens fairly regularly and it’s no big deal.
Ships dropping anchor, sharks and natural disasters have all damaged them in the past.
Back in 2008, Stephan Beckert of TeleGeography, commented that “Cable cuts happen on average
once every three days”. While the submarine cable repair company, Global Marine Systems,
also noted that more than 50 repair operations took place in the Atlantic alone in 2007. They don’t take long to fix either. In 2018,
when the entire country of Mauritania lost internet access thanks to cut cable, it only
took 48 hours to rectify the problem. Nine other African countries were also hit but
didn’t go offline, which shows how robust the system is and why you’d have to take
out a lot of cables to make a real impact. And, even if, by some miracle, you and over
400 of your closest friends managed to cut all the cables at the same time, that’s
only 99% of the Internet. You’d still have the satellite-based network
left to deal with. We’d have to get used to 144p on YouTube videos again but it wouldn’t
be a total internet Armageddon. What about a huge Distributed Denial of Service
(DDoS) attack on DNS services, one on a scale way bigger than the Dyn attack? In theory, a particularly skilful hacker group
could infect and take over hundreds of thousands of computers or unsecured internet-of-things
devices – like routers, DVD players security cameras – to create a network of machines
under their control, a so-called botnet. In theory, you could create such a botnet
singlehandedly, if you wanted to, after all the botnet that was eventually used to cripple
Dyn was created by just three people. Armed with a similar army of zombie machines,
our super hacker could overwhelm key domain name services and effectively render the internet
useless. The scary thing is we may be getting closer to this than you imagined. According to John Bowers, co-author of a cyber-security
study by Harvard University released in 2018: “The concentration of DNS services into
a small number of hands… exposes single points of failure that weren’t present under
the more distributed DNS paradigm of yesteryear” That sounds more complicated than it really
is. Basically what John is saying is that the number of companies providing crucial
domain name services has gotten smaller and smaller, which means you only have to take
out a few key players to cripple the internet. One such key player is Verisign, which provides
services for many top-level domains, you overwhelm them and you make the internet pretty much
useless. Now you’re probably thinking I’m exaggerating but sadly I’m not. As computer security expert, Bruce Schneier
has pointed out: “Verisign is the registrar for many popular
top-level Internet domains, like .com and .net. If it goes down, there’s a global blackout
of all websites and e-mail addresses in the most common top-level domains” In other words websites ending in .com or
.net (plus many others) would be unreachable, unless you somehow memorised the IP address
of all your favourite sites, which I’m going to go out on a limb and say you haven’t. While the fact that companies like Verisign
are facing increasing numbers of DDoS attacks, which are only getting more complex and persistent
is certainly no good thing, such attacks are not going to kill the internet. After all,
a botnet needs the internet to work in order to be effective. In effect DDoS attacks like the one on Dyn
are a pain in the ass, with potentially huge consequences, but they don’t represent a
practical internet Armageddon. As Gleb Budman, CEO of BackBlaze, a cloud
storage provider notes: “Even the large-scale attack against Dyn
(dine) still only knocked out certain sites down for certain people for certain amounts
of time.” The internet will very much exists before,
during and after such an attack, it might just be massively inconvenient to use for
a while. Ultimately, a single person could cause a
lot of online havoc. They might take down key service providers using a botnet, they’re
unlikely to take down all key services simultaneously, worldwide and for a sustained period of time. They might even be able to cause an internet
blackout in an entire country or region by cutting cables, but they’re not going to
be able to cut all the cables quickly enough to bring down the entire web. Of course, countries could mobilise their
resources to cause internet destruction on a bigger and perhaps permanent level, but
as for you or me? We’ll probably have to think of alternative plans for becoming supervillains. Most of us have now used the internet for
over a decade, or even since it was born. In this time, we have all created hundreds
of logins for different websites, and nearly all of us are guilty of reusing the same passwords. While the internet disappearing might not
be something you should worry too much about, keeping your online identity in control against
the increasing number of website breaches and hacks is something you should be concerned
about, and thanks to Dashlane, you can actually DO something about it. It’s the only tool
you need to stay safe online, featuring a robust password manager, VPN and dark web
monitoring, Dashlane will actively keep you safe and notify you with security alerts.
Over 13 million users and 10,000 leading companies use Dashlane and, like us, you can get it
for free! All you have to do is download Dashlane via and you’ll have
all the tools you need for a simpler, safer life online. Plus as a special bonus to Debunked viewers
you can get 10% off of their premium service too, which gives you access to their multi-country
VPN and more. The support of partners like Dashlane enable
us to keep making videos, so please head on over and check them out. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next

100 thoughts on “Could The Internet Ever Be Destroyed?! DEBUNKED

  1. Why would satellite only stream 480p?
    I'm on 4G right now watching at 1080p without any problems and while downloading files I get a fairly high bitrate.
    Elon Musk have gotten approval to deploy 7000+ satellites that will provide internet connection to earth entire surface area.
    He claims it will be much faster than cables since the signals will travel in the speed of light and only in straight lines.

  2. Don't forget that the hacker could, in theory, just send a command into each major internet device (routers, ISPs, DNS servers, servers, satellites, etc.) to terminate its hardware and share the virus to any connected device before destroying its hardware (Since almost every device is connected somehow, so it would spread quickly), right?

  3. Any good system that normally relies on internet access would be designed with layers of built-in redundancy in case of local internet outages, which are very common and thus very necessary to plan for. Then again, I once got stuck on a train for 9 hours straight because snow fell on a computer chip responsible for automatic track switching on a bridge and nobody could figure out an alternate way to get the train onto the correct track…

  4. People who also need electricity to run medical devices and need electronic support systems to receive medication would die pretty quickly.

  5. Taking down the entire internet would cause chaos right?

    So why would you go ahead and tell thousands of people how to do it???

  6. you forgot to mention that you can interrupt major hubs to basically cause all of the connected servers go down. Yeah, just about every country has its own and the larger countries have several, but instead of swimming under water, you could just kick off the ones in china to cause a massive economic collapse to any country that has become dependent on chinese goods.

    As far as knocking the entire internet down, it would be impossible for a singular individual because of close network systems, where only certain computers can access that portion of the internet that is completely void of outside access or interference. There is also a huge flaw in the destruction of civilization if the entire internet was shut down. What you spoke of is what would happen in urban areas. There are several places around the globe that do not require the internet to function. The entire united states could quickly get itself back up and running within a few months, due to the amount of agriculture and natural resources it has access to. Welfare areas would fall into chaos and disrepair, but the more conservative areas would be unaffected. States like California and Newyork, that have made themselves dependent on foreign trade would be screwed, but the vast majority of the US would be perfectly fine. Yay for self sufficiency.

  7. Imagine just going on your phone and than just noticing that there isn’t no Wi-Fi what the hell would you do?

  8. Deleting the internet will not cause a blackout. No form of electricity production requires the internet.

  9. come on, caos and end of time? they said internet cut off, not phone line cut off grocery will get an employe to manualy check for stock than they will CALL they suplier. also most bank still have poeple that work in them.

     thank you internet for showing me how stupid and greedy you are

  10. If someone where to stop the internet it will cause chaos and everyone will start going crazy unless you find a way to distract yourself because everyone uses the internet. There are two reasons for turning off the internet and that is for a test or someone trying to make the world “healthier”

  11. Can The Internet Be Taken Down / Destroyed?
    Yes, the minute Jeffrey Epstein spills the beans on the Clintons & other high ranking Democrats the net is coming down, along with TV. You might want to buy a Ham radio though. Lol.

  12. How to find a website's dns: Go into CMD. Type ping [site name, for example] -t 60. That's it ! At least it worked when I checked it…

  13. Of course it'll go down one day the N.W.O will rise soon after. They gotta take it away afterwards or else they'll use an EMP

  14. What about a huge sunspot flare-up? Trying satellites and a lot of electronics… Sure would bugger up the internet somewhat… 🤔

  15. Hackers who are responsible for DDoS just for the hell of it are fucking pricks. I get hacking and fucking things up for those like the Westboro Baptist Church or a bunch of pedos or whatever, but to fuck things up for regular people who never did anything to you or anyone else is just you being a fucking dick just to be a fucking dick. Those kinds of hackers I can say need to get out of their fucking parent's basements, find a girlfriend and stop being such a twat. Maybe people would actually like you and want to hang out with you if you weren't such a twat.

  16. (John 14:6) Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but my me."

    Repent and turn to Christ Jesus before it is too late. For after this comes the JUDGMENT. Christ died for your sins and rose on the third day, showing that anyone who trusts in him for salvation, will have everlasting life.

    (John 3:16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  17. That sounds more to me like "what if the internet went, and people did absolutley nothing to work around it and paniced like in a simpsons episode"

  18. Well Recently there was blackout in my City, about 2 days without Internet, It sure is Anoying Live without it ✨😢😢😢✨, Great Video

  19. common man. must get food must get goods…

    Me: must get music ALL the music and make sure i have all my offline games downloaded lol

  20. If you’re wondering what the world would be like if the internet went down just refer to the episode of Southpark where that exact thing happened.

  21. I thought that a large solar coronal mass ejection like the Carrington event in 1859 would fry every circuit board on the planet?

  22. No … but IT can be controlled by one person … and theoretically can also make everything collapsed with the right troyan.. at least everything that’s connected to the web ..

  23. Because every operating system has a back door in the source code .. no mater what you think ..

  24. And is basically impossible for people today to detect… so if you don’t have knowledge of the back door .. then you can’t really crash the internet, but if you have knowledge of it .. you truly can.

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