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On January 15, 1990, the information security of AT&T's nationwide network was shut down for almost nine hours. Rumors immediately spread that the telecommunications giant had been hit by a hacker attack. Although it is now believed that the cause of the failure was an internal bug in the company's computer system, that did not stop a nation wide crackdown on hackers that began only three days later. The series of investigations, searches and arrests that occurred in this period are often referred to collectively as Operation Sundevil.