Feeds

Sites knocked offline by OpenDNS freeze on Google

JavaScript-hosting server branded 'phishing' den

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.