Google went down after traffic was routed through China and Russian Federation

Judy Cobb
November 16, 2018

According to the Wall Street Journal, some Google services were "temporarily unreachable for some users after some traffic meant to reach the web giant was rerouted through other networks", though the company has not publicly disclosed whether it has determined the issue was a technical error or a hacking attempt.

Our analysis indicates that the origin of this leak was the BGP peering relationship between MainOne, the Nigerian provider, and China Telecom.

Internet traffic hijacking disrupted several Google services on Monday, including search and cloud-hosting services.

The diversion "at a minimum caused a massive denial of service to G Suite (business collaboration tools) and Google Search" and "put valuable Google traffic in the hands of ISPs in (internet service providers) in countries with a long history of Internet surveillance", the network-intelligence company ThousandEyes said in a blog post.

Google confirms Monday's disruption and says it believes the cause was external.

A report earlier this year by researchers at the US Naval War College and Tel Aviv University found China Telecom has been hijacking internet traffic passing through the US and Canada on a regular basis.

Jadon Sancho showed signs of world-class potential in Wembley bow
The 20-year-old has 109 appearances under his belt for the German giants to date, scoring 15 goals and has been widely tipped for a bright future at the top level of the game.

However, Google told the Journal they had no reason to believe the incident was malicious in nature.

"While setting up a new interconnection, the Nigerian ISP nearly certainly inadvertently leaked the routing information to China Telecom who then leaked it out to the rest of the world", said Prince added.

"[It] further underscores one of the fundamental weaknesses in the fabric of the internet", Mr Naik wrote.

The vast majority of Google network traffic is encrypted using HTTPS, which the AP noted could help prevent any data that was diverted from actually being accessed by a malicious party. On November 12, Google issued an official statement - "Connectivity issues connecting to Google services including Google APIs, Load balancers, instances and other external IP addresses." followed by another message - "We've received a report of an issue, with Google Cloud Networking as of Monday, 2018-11-12 14:16 US/Pacific". But it's still not good news as some businesses that are big into Google's G Suite were left twiddling their thumbs for some time.

Indeed, the phenomenon has occurred before.

In two recent cases, such rerouting has affected financial sites. This past April, another hijacking enabled cryptocurrency theft.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER