Google went down after traffic was routed through China and Russian Federation

BGP hijacking appears to have hit Google Cloud

Route leak sends Google Cloud traffic to Russia

After several users complained that they were either unable to access Google services like YouTube on Tuesday, the tech giant confirmed the root cause of this was "external" and under investigation.

Network monitoring company ThousandEyes spotted traffic going to Google Cloud was taking the wrong route, and called the incident a "potential hijack". Furthermore, Google uses encryption to protect its traffic. Referred to as a BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) hijack, traffic that should have found its way to Google's servers instead pinged Nigerian ISP MainOne Cable Company. ThousandEyes detected intermittent availability issues to Google services from some locations. "We also noticed that this leak was primarily propagated by business-grade transit providers and did not impact consumer ISP networks as much". It's understood no data was intercepted or handed over during the spill.

Google, which has been working on a censored search engine for mainland Chinese web users, said it had no reason to believe the traffic hijacking was malicious.

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The outage of Google services still would have affected G Suite customers worldwide, security research firm Thousand Eyes stated: "This incident at a minimum caused a massive denial of service to G Suite and Google Search".

That, it has been reported in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, is exactly what happened late last night to Google's multifarious cloud services: A BGP attack was carried out successfully, re-routing Google's traffic through third-party IP addresses located in Russian Federation and China.

If nothing else, the disclosure will allay fears that the outage was the result of some sort of attack or other nefarious activity.

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"Our analysis indicates that the origin of this leak was the BGP peering relationship between MainOne, the Nigerian provider, and China Telecom".

"This incident further underscores one of the fundamental weaknesses in the fabric of the internet", said Naik. The problem is, as ThousandEyes explains, "BGP was created to be a chain of trust between well-meaning ISPs and universities that blindly believe the information they receive. It hasn't evolved to reflect the complex commercial and geopolitical relationships that exist between ISPs and nations today", ThousandEyes said.

Both ThousandEyes and the United States network monitoring company BGmon said the internet traffic detour originated with the Nigerian company.

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