Roughly 90 percent of Armenia's Internet dwellers were unable to use their accounts after an elderly Georgian woman sliced through an underground fibre-optic cable with her spade while scavenging for copper. The 75-year old woman's action left most of Armenia without Internet access for up to five hours, and large parts of Georgia and some areas of Azerbaijan were also affected.
The woman, 75, had been digging for the metal not far from the capital Tbilisi when her spade damaged the fibre-optic cable on 28 March.
As Georgia provides 90% of Armenia's internet, the woman's unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours as the country's main internet providers - ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa – were prevented from supplying their normal service. Television pictures showed reporters at a news agency in the capital Yerevan staring glumly at blank screens.
Dubbed "the spade-hacker" by local media, the woman – who has not been named – is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property. She faces up to three years in prison if charged and convicted.