ANI Photo | US: Amid cellular outage, Florida Sentar warns of possible ‘Chinese cyber-attack’

Reacting to the massive cellular outage across the United States, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has warned that the situation can be even more precarious in case China launches a cyberattack while ‘invading’ Taiwan.
“I don’t know the cause of the AT&T outage But I do know it will be 100 times worse when #China launches a cyber attack on America on the eve of a #Taiwan invasion And it won’t be just cell service they hit, it will be your power, your water and your bank,” Rubio posted on X.

This comes after a massive outage was reported after AT&T’s network went down for many of its customers across the country, leaving customers unable to place calls, text or access the internet.
On Thursday morning (local time), more than 74,000 AT&T customers reported outages on digital-service tracking site DownDetector, with service disruptions beginning around 4 am ET (local time), as reported by CNN.
Although Verizon and T-Mobile customers also reported some network outages, those appeared far less widespread. These two firms said their networks were unaffected by AT&T’s service outage and customers reporting outages may have been unable to reach customers who use AT&T.
AT&T acknowledged that it had a widespread outage but did not provide a reason for the system failure.
“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. We are working urgently to restore service to them,” AT&T said in a statement. “We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored.
“By late morning, AT&T said most of its network was back online.
“Our network teams took immediate action and so far, three-quarters of our network has been restored,” the company said. “We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers.”
AT&T provided no official reason for the outage, but the issue appears to be related to how cellular services hand off calls from one network to the next, a process known as ‘peering’, CNN reported, citing an industry source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
However, there is no indication that Thursday’s outage was the result of a cyberattack or other malicious activity, the industry source said.
Notably, China (People’s Republic of China) considers the self-ruled territory of Taiwan as part of its territory and claims there is only “one China”.
China has increased military activities around Taiwan in recent years, including near-daily incursions into the country’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) and sending military ships near its maritime borders, according to CNN.
Especially after former US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in 2022, China has ramped up its flow of military jets over the self-ruled territory.
Over time, Beijing has repeatedly said that Taiwan “would be reunified” with China.
In this year’s New Year Address, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “China will surely be reunified, and all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be bound by a common sense of purpose.”
Amid concerns over a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan, US President Joe Biden said that Washington would “intervene militarily” if Beijing attempts to take Taipei by force, CNN reported.
But it is pertinent to note that under the “One China” policy, the US also acknowledges China’s position that Taiwan is part of China, but has never officially recognized Beijing’s claim to the self-governing island of 23 million.

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