Feeds

Glitch diverts net traffic through Chinese ISP

Twice in two weeks

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.