Last Updated: 2007-08-21 14:04:18 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
Across the world, copper prices have increased substantially over the last couple years. As a result, theft of copper has been on the increase. In my area, multiple houses and business got stripped of their air conditioners, and in some cases (mostly construction sites), copper wire was stipped out of the building and large spools where removed from the properties.
Having your AC stolen can be a huge disaster for a data center. Most of the time, the copper (or even aluminium) heat exchanger is outside of the building and not well secured. The usual recommendation is to build a "cage" around the device which still allows for sufficient air circulation. Monitoring the temperature in your data center (or server closet) is a good idea as well. Many alarm systems and alarm companies will be able to monitor it for you and alert you if it exceeds a given range.
One reader (Scott) noted that a number of transmission towers they owned got vandalized by copper thieves. In his case, old microwave guides got stolen from the towers. Needless to say, it is not easy to monitor remote locations like towers.
Michael wrote in to share a story about a major disruption of a german rail line a while ago due to stolen cable.