Understanding Internet Resilience to Planetary-Scale Risks

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The resilience of the Internet, a critical infrastructure, is crucial for the functioning of our technology-driven society. While the Internet has successfully withstood several internal threats in the past, today, we face an increasing risk of exogenous threats to the Internet's physical infrastructure, such as climate change-induced extreme weather events and solar superstorms. Currently, our understanding of Internet resilience to such planetary-scale risks is limited. In this talk, I will first discuss the cosmic phenomenon of solar superstorms, which can potentially cause large-scale Internet outages covering the entire globe and lasting several months. I will present the challenges posed by this natural disaster and the preliminary analysis of the robustness of the current Internet infrastructure against this threat. Next, I will give a brief overview of the Internet's dependence on the power grid, another critical infrastructure, and describe the resilience challenges arising from this dependence. Finally, I will present a roadmap for improving the Internet’s resiliency to planetary-scale risks and highlight the open research challenges.

Prof. Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, UC Irvine

Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests lie at the intersection of networking, systems, and machine learning. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2019. Before joining UCI, she had a brief stint as a postdoctoral researcher at VMware Research, where she continues as an Affiliated Researcher. She was selected as a N2Women Rising Star in Networking and Communications in 2022. Her work on Internet resilience under solar superstorms won the IETF/IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize in 2022 and received broad media coverage. Website: https://www.ics.uci.edu/~sabdujyo/