Feeds

Glitch diverts net traffic through Chinese ISP

Twice in two weeks

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Internet service providers in China briefly tainted network routing tables on Thursday, marking the second time in two weeks operators in that country have done so, IDG news reports.

The bad networking information originated from IDC China Telecommunication and was soon retransmitted by China's state-owned China Telecommunications. ISPs including AT&T, Level3, Deutsche Telekom, Qwest Communications and Telefonica soon incorporated the data into their tables as well, IDG said.

As a result, routing information for 32,000 to 37,000 networks was affected, potentially causing them to be redirected through IDC China instead of their path. Some 8,000 of the networks were located in the US, including those operated by Dell, Apple, CNN, and Starbucks. Networks in Australia, China and elsewhere were also affected.

The incident comes two weeks after a similar networking anomaly caused people in Chile to be redirected to Chinese networks, potentially blocking websites such as Facebook and YouTube, which are banned in that country.

The snafu underscores the fragility of the Border Gateway Protocol, which is used to route traffic over the internet. The core net underpinning remains susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks that can divert traffic to impostor networks.

At the 2008 Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas, researchers demonstrated a BGP attack that allowed them to redirect traffic bound for the conference network to a system they controlled in New York. Also in 2008, large chunks of the internet lost access to YouTube when BGP tables inside Pakistan spread to other countries.

It's unclear how widely felt Thursday's incident was outside of Asia, IDG said. Routers frequently subscribe to several BGP routes and follow the shortest path. That means networks physically located in the US, Europe and elsewhere may have ignored the tables that traveled through China. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.