Greater Threat: Compromise of a routing device or Compromise of a highly-utilized data transmission cable?

The compromise of highly utilized data transmission cable would pose a greater threat to network traffic, as compared to the threat offered by a compromised routing device.

This is because of the following reasons-

  • Higher traffic

A highly-utilized data transmission cable has a higher percentage of traffic flowing through it, at any point in time. This increases the volume of the data being leaked or manipulated, as compared to data in a compromised routing device.

  • Less easy to detect

Monitoring and detecting passive listeners, man-in-the-middle agents, and breached points in long lengths of physical transmission cables is a tough task. Monitoring and detecting malware in a routing device is easier, in comparison. This increases the risks poses by the former, and thus increases the threat levels when compromised.

  • Larger number of endpoints compromised
    When a highly-utilized data transmission cable is compromised, the integrity and confidentiality of a huge number of hosts, clients, and end points who transmit over it are also compromised. This is a much larger number than the devices affected due to a compromised routing device.