Paypal Blast Used “Sophisticated Device”

A “sophisticated explosive device” was responsible for the explosion at a Paypal network operation center in San Jose Tuesday night, local police say. “Whatever caused it was pretty strong,” San Jose Fire Capt. Jose Guerrero told the Mercury News, adding that the blast broke a large, thick piece of safety glass and overturned furniture inside the building. The company received no threats before or after the blast, which happened at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a landscaped breezeway outside the 100,000-square-foot, four-story building.

Fortunately there were no injuries, and the company’s web site experienced no disruptions during the period of the explosion. The area damaged by the explosion was apparently between the NOC and an adjacent building.

If police investigators have a theory, they’re not sharing it with the press, including whether the Halloween timing of the event has significance. But the incident provides a reminder about why there are no windows in data centers, and why some facilities have Kevlar-reinforced walls. While we await further news on the blast, it’s not a bad idea to review ways to improve the physical security of your data center.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.