Google Internet Traffic Briefly Misdirected Through Nigeria, Russia, China

by Samuel Abasi Posted on November 13th, 2018

Mountain View, California, USA :  Google services were temporarily unreachable for some users after some traffic intended to reach the web giant was rerouted through other networks.

In a notice posted on Monday on its website, Google said it had resolved the issue as of 2:35 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, and that its services were operating as expected. The Alphabet Inc. unit said it would conduct an internal investigation but that it believed the root cause of the issue was external to Google.

Some users of Google services encountered disruptions for about 1 1/2 hours Monday because traffic was re-routed through other networks in Nigeria, Russia and China.

The issue with Google Cloud IP, including search and cloud-hosting services as well as G Suite connectivity, was resolved at 2:35 p.m. Pacific time, Google said in a posting.

“Throughout the duration of this issue Google services were operating as expected and we believe the root cause of the issue was external to Google,” the company said. “We will conduct an internal investigation of this issue and make appropriate improvements to our systems to help prevent or minimize future recurrence.”

ThousandEyes, an Internet research company, posted in a blog incorrect routing instructions redirected some traffic intended for Google’s addresses to Russian network operator TransTelekom, China Telecom Corp. and MainOne, a provider in Nigeria.

Consumer apps including YouTube were also affected by slowdowns.

“Between 1:00 PM and 2:23 PM PST, ThousandEyes noticed issues connecting to G Suite, a critical application for our organization,” ThousandEye’s Ameet Naik wrote. “Reviewing ThousandEyes Endpoint Agent stats, we noticed this was impacting all users at the ThousandEyes office. The outage not only affected G Suite, but also Google Search as well as Google Analytics.

“What caught our attention was that traffic to Google was getting dropped at China Telecom. Why would traffic from a San Francisco office traversing to Google go all the way to China? We also noticed a Russian ISP in the traffic path, which definitely sparked some concerns.”

G Suite includes Gmail, Google Drive and Google Docs.

“This incident at a minimum caused a massive denial of service to G Suite and Google Search,” Naik wrote. “However, this also put valuable Google traffic in the hands of ISPs in countries with a long history of Internet surveillance.”

No data was compromised with encryption preventing any exploit, Google reported.

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