Feeds

Sophos DNS snafu creates update problems

Bad hair day nothing to do with hackers

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Domain name system problems left some users of Sophos unable to get security updates on Friday. The same issue, blamed on a mistake by one of the security firm's service providers rather than hostile action, left many surfers unable to access its main sophos.com website.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, explained that an error by one of its service providers in updating DNS settings for the Sophos.com site has permeated across the internet, and will take a little while to untangle. "Some users have experienced problems getting updates because of these incorrect settings," he explained. "No kind of DNS cache poisoning or any kind of hacking attack was involved."

DNS is the internet's address lookup system, which translates domain names humans are comfortable with into IP addresses that computers understand. Errors in the system make it difficult to reach sites as normal (without knowing or finding out the IP address, that is).

The Sophos.co.uk website was never affected by the problem. Staff have been able to send and receive email, and regular signature updates have been published as normal - even though some users may have had problems receiving these updates, a statement on Sophos's UK site explains.

We are aware that since yesterday {Thursday] a minority of our customers have been experiencing intermittent issues with accessing some parts of our website. In addition, some users may have experienced intermittent issues receiving anti-virus and anti-spam updates from Sophos.

This was because the sophos.com domain was not being resolved properly in some parts of the world as a result of an error made by an external domain management service provider. This error has now been corrected by the provider, but because of the nature of the internet it takes some time for the fix to permeate throughout the entire internet.

A number of Reg readers hit by the problem were the first to bring it to our attention. "Looks like Sophos are having big network issues," Reg reader Martin H reported. "The Web site has been flakey for most of yesterday and I for one haven't had any AV updates for over 24 hours."

Another Reg reader, Juan K, reported similar problems involving "clients who can't update their Sophos AV software this [Friday] morning".

Sophos apologised for any inconvenience, adding it was in talks with its service providers on how to prevent a repetition of the problem in future. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.