WORLDPOST
04/06/2011 06:58 pm ET | Updated Jun 06, 2011

Georgia Woman, 75, Charged With Cutting Off Armenia From The Internet

A 75-year-old Georgian woman is facing jail time after she accidentally sliced through an underground cable and caused all Internet services in neighboring Armenia to crash.

As the BBC is reporting, the Georgian Interior Ministry confirmed the woman admitted to damaging fiber optic cables while scavenging for copper in the village of Ksani on March 28. Owned by the Georgian Railway Telecom company, the cables service eastern Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"She found the cable while collecting scrap metal and cut it with a view to stealing it," Georgian interior ministry spokesman Zura Gvenetadze is quoted by the AFP as saying. "Taking into account her advancing years, she has been released pending the end of the investigation and subsequent trial."

All three wholesale internet providers in Armenia -- ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa -- were unable to provide their usual service after the woman cut the cable, though services were restored after midnight.

The Guardian reports that the unnamed woman, who has been dubbed "the spade-hacker" by local media, is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property, and could face up to three years in prison if charged and convicted.

"I cannot understand how this lady managed to find and damage the cable," the head of the company's marketing department, Giorgi Ionatamishvili, also told the AFP. "It has robust protection and such incidents are extremely rare."