African ISP Inadvertently Routes Internet Traffic Via Russia And China

On Monday afternoon there was a widely reported outage of Google services in the US. This lasted for 74 minutes and was due to internet traffic being wrongly directed via Russia and China in a situation known as a “BGP Hijack”.

The issue has been linked to the West African Internet Service Provider (ISP) Main One. They announced the issue was down to a misconfiguration error that “leaked” and caused internet traffic to be redirected.  

Initial concerns that the attack was malicious in nature were luckily unfounded; although the incident has again raised issues surrounding the vulnerabilities of the Border Gateway Protocol – a legacy, trust-based protocol, responsible for the deciding how traffic is routed across the internet.

Duncan Newell

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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