Feeds

Sites knocked offline by OpenDNS freeze on Google

JavaScript-hosting server branded 'phishing' den

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Innocent websites were blocked and labelled phishers on Wednesday following an apparent conflict between OpenDNS and Google's Content Delivery Network (CDN).

OpenDNS - a popular domain name lookup service* - sparked the outage by blocking access to googleapis.com, Google's treasure trove of useful scripts and apps for web developers. According to reports, a flood of errors hit pages that used Google-hosted jQuery and hundreds of thousands of sites fell over.

Visitors to websites were confronted with a message saying: "Phishing site blocked. Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to get you to provide personal information under false pretenses."

Other visitors were greeted with a 404 error, aka the dreaded 'file not found' message.

Web design and hosting specialist Brit-Net, whose operations director Mat Bennett captured the phishing error message here, told The Reg the outage lasted for nearly three hours.

As sites and service providers struggled to get back online they employed fallback scripts and re-routed traffic to Microsoft's rival CDN. Brit-Net was among those updating its code to point to Microsoft.

The cause of the problem with OpenDNS seemed to be the googleapi.com security certificates, according to Bennett and this article advising on working around the problem.

The fact the issue popped up suddenly on Wednesday would suggest that engineers at Google had been fiddling with SSL certificates or made some other change that conflicted with OpenDNS. Google was not available for comment at the time of publication.

Bennett told The Reg that one consequence of the outage for his company is that it would institute a system that sets Google as the default but would switch to Microsoft's CDN if Google's system drops out in future to save having to manually tweak web apps. ®

Bootnote

* DNS, for the uninitiated, is the vital system that points browsers at the correct servers when given a human-readable address, such as facebook.com or theregister.co.uk. Although ISPs provide DNS services for their customers, punters can opt to use alternative providers, such as OpenDNS.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.