Nigerian ISP says error caused disruption in Google services

BGP hijacking appears to have hit Google Cloud

Network-monitoring companies say service interruptions lasted for almost two hours and ended about 5.30pm EST (12.30 AEDT).

From there, Russian ISP providers, notably TransTelekom, also started messing with Google's IP routes.

Later on, Monday Google informed their users that issue is resolved and an investigation is underway, the search giant quoted "The issue with Google Cloud IP addresses being erroneously advertised by internet service providers other than Google has been resolved for all affected users as of 14:35 US/Pacific".

According to experts from ThousandEyes, a cloud security company, the path that this traffic took most often was one via TransTelecom (AS 20485) in Russian Federation and China Telecom (AS 4809) in China.

Even if the traffic "misdirection" by the Nigerian ISP was intentional or accidental, the problem still lies with the BGP itself, a protocol developed in the 1980s, which has no security features and is still used today to interconnect ISP networks and relay internet traffic.

The issue was fixed within an hour, but Google remains scratching its nogging on what's caused the problem.

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The diversion "at a minimum caused a massive denial of service to G Suite (business collaboration tools) and Google Search" and "put valuable Google traffic in the hands of ISPs in (internet service providers) in countries with a long history of Internet surveillance", the network-intelligence company ThousandEyes said in a blog post.

He said he suspected nation-state involvement because the traffic was effectively landing at state-run China Telecom. ThousandEyes, a network monitoring firm, was one of the first companies to raise the alarm on Tuesday after noticing traffic to Google was getting dropped at China Telecom.

According to BGPmon, the incident was caused by a small Nigerian ISP named MainOne Cable Company (AS37282), which announced to nearby ISPs that it was hosting IP addresses that were normally assigned to Google's data center network. It did not explain why.

Henthorn-Iwane says Monday's hijacking may have been "a war-game experiment".

Some of Google's major services unexpectedly went offline for a period of time on Monday, apparently resulting from a tiny ISP in Nigeria inadvertently hijacking certain internet traffic. This past April, another hijacking enabled cryptocurrency theft. Instead, it might have been related to recent network meetings in Nigeria.

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