Friday, April 9, 2010

Chinese Fire Drill Borks The Interwebs

"For the second time in two weeks, bad networking information spreading from China has disrupted the Internet.

"On Thursday morning, bad routing data from a small Chinese ISP called IDC China Telecommunication was re-transmitted by China's state-owned China Telecommunications, and then spread around the Internet, affecting Internet service providers such as AT&T, Level3, Deutsche Telekom, Qwest Communications and Telefonica.

"`There are a large number of ISPs who accepted these routes all over the world,` said Martin A. Brown, technical lead at Internet monitoring firm Renesys.

"According to Brown, the incident started just before 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday and lasted about 20 minutes. During that time IDC China Telecommunication transmitted bad routing information for between 32,000 and 37,000 networks, redirecting them to IDC China Telecommunication instead of their rightful owners.

"These networks included about 8,000 U.S. networks including those operated by Dell, CNN, Starbucks and Apple. More than 8,500 Chinese networks,1,100 in Australia and 230 owned by France Telecom were also affected.

"The bad routes may have simply caused all Internet traffic to these networks to not get through, or they could have been used to redirect traffic to malicious computers in China.

"While the incident appears to have been an accident, it underscores the weakness of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), a critical, but obscure, protocol used to bind the Internet together."

More at NetworkWorld...

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