Vodafone cell customers cut off after late-night burglary

Sledge hammer, slow response nets thieves some expensive switches

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Customers flooded the Vodafone boards, asking awkward questions, like whether or not a data center would normally be too secure to allow the network to be taken down with a sledgehammer.

Eastern European organized criminal organizations target businesses in the U.K., to steal and ship East expensive networking gear, cars and expensive items not easily available in countries of the Soviet Union, according to the London newspaper the Telegraph.

Police were called to the facility about 5 a.m.

By 1 p.m. local time the company had restored voice services to most customers.

Not to rub salt in the wound, or even highlight it as something that could never happen to a company in the U.S. (it has), the facility that got hit was not a shabby cinder-block building with hinky door locks.

It was a secure data center that served as a major hub for a Europe-wide cellular voice- and data service that was almost certainly as secure as you'd expect a telco data center to be, even in a place with a name as silly as "Basingstoke."

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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