The nation of China experienced a major internet outage recently causing “millions of internet users” to be dropped “offline for hours“, according to articles published by both the Web Hosting Industry Review and Network World. The reports indicated – at approximately 3 pm – an undisclosed amount of “domestic service providers” were not able to connect with “China’s Domain Name System servers.”
The articles also reported that these outages were caused by “an error with the nation’s generic top level domains (.COM, .INFO, .NET and .ORG) which redirected users to IP address 126.96.36.199” which is an address owned by Sophidea, a web hosting company based in California. According to the WHIR article, this hosting company is reported not to be in business and “has apparently hosted sites blocked in China such as news site The Epoch Times, and a site that provides software to bypass online censorship.”
The Network World article stated that some in China speculate that this event could have been caused by “a hacking attack” originating in the United States. The article adds that this may have been caused by the Chinese government after their attempts to “block the IP address, only to accidentally redirect the nation’s top level domains to forward traffic to the IP.” Wu Hongsheng, founder of Chinese DNS host DNSPod, was mentioned in the WHIR article to say that “the reasons behind the malfunction are currently unclear” and was quoted to say that this event was something “very unusual and serious.”
Read more in both the WHIR and Network World articles about how this serious event affected millions of individuals and an entire country leaving many to wonder how this happened so quickly and easily.