Tech

Nigerian ISP says error caused disruption in Google services

Nigerian ISP says error caused disruption in Google services

Google, for its part, has not confirmed the details of the issue, but has confirmed what it describes as 'Google Cloud Networking Incident #18018' which saw 'Google Cloud IP addresses being erroneously advertised by internet service providers other than Google' for a period of around an hour.

ThousandEyes marketing executive Alex Henthorne-Iwane said in a statement: "All of Google's public-facing edge seems to be getting broadly affected." he added, "Most of the traffic is being dropped at China Telecom".

"We're aware that a portion of internet traffic was affected by incorrect routing of IP addresses, and access to some Google services was impacted", a Chocolate Factory spokesperson told El Reg.

Some web services provided by internet giant Google were briefly disrupted today after a Google Cloud IP issue that the company wrote in a blog post was "external" and under investigation, though what exactly happened remains unclear. A recent study by U.S. Naval War College and Tel Aviv University scholars found that China systematically hijacks and diverts U.S. internet traffic.

A Nigerian internet service provider says a configuration error it made during a network upgrade caused a disruption of key Google services that routed traffic to China and Russian Federation.

According to BGPmon, the incident was caused by a small Nigerian ISP named MainOne Cable Company (AS37282), which announced to nearby ISPs that it was hosting IP addresses that were normally assigned to Google's data center network.

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"This incident further underscores one of the fundamental weaknesses in the fabric of the internet", said Naik.

The vulnerability exploited is built into the internet, which was designed for collaboration by trusted parties not competition by hostile nation-states. Experts say it is fixable but that would require investments in encrypted routers that the industry has resisted.

The issue surfaced Monday afternoon as internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet's Google had been routed through China and Russian Federation, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked.

Most network traffic to Google services - 94 percent as of October 27 - is encrypted, which shields it from prying eyes even if diverted.

The disruption in Google services was limited to almost an hour. G-Suite and Google Cloud combined generate about $4 billion in revenue each year. It effectively caused a Denial of Service attack on Google services.

Indeed, the phenomenon has occurred before. In perhaps the best-known case, Pakistan Telecom inadvertently hijacked YouTube's global traffic in 2008 for a few hours when it was trying to enforce a domestic ban. This past April, another hijacking enabled cryptocurrency theft.