An Internet redirection that redirected traffic across Russia and China disrupted several Google services, including search and cloud hosting, on Monday.
Service interruptions lasted nearly two hours and ended at 17:30. EST., Network service providers said. In addition to Russian and Chinese telecommunications companies, a Nigerian Internet service provider was also involved.
Google confirmed the disruption on Monday on a network status page, but said only that the cause was "external to Google". The Company Had Little Additional Comments
The special method, officially referred to as Border Gateway Protocol hijacking, can disable vital services and facilitate espionage and financial theft. Most network traffic to Google services ̵
Alex Henthorn-Iwane, a senior executive at the network intelligence company ThousandEyes, called Monday's incident the worst Google had an impact on the company he saw.
He said he suspected state involvement because traffic actually landed at the state-owned China Telecom. A recent study by scientists from the US Naval War College and Tel Aviv University says that China systematically abducts and redirects Internet traffic in the US.
Much of the foundation of the Internet is based on trust, a relic of the good intentions of its designers. As a consequence, little can be done if a nation-state or someone who has access to a major internet service provider decides to divert traffic.
Henthorn-Iwane says the kidnapping of Monday could have been "a war experiment".
In In two recent cases, such a diversion has affected financial locations. In April 2017, Mastercard and Visa were affected. Last April, another abduction allowed the theft of cryptocurrencies.
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ThousandEyes named the companies involved on Monday in addition to China Telecom as the Russian Internet provider Transtelecom and the Nigerian ISP MainOne.
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