Redirection of Web traffic to China still a mystery

Summary:Six months after web traffic involving popular US sites and email from computers around the globe was re-directed to Chinese servers unnecessarily, internet watchers are trying to figure out why it happened.

Six months after web traffic involving popular US sites and email from computers around the globe was re-directed to Chinese servers unnecessarily, internet watchers are trying to figure out why it happened and how to prevent future mishaps.

In at least two instances since mid-March, large amounts of traffic on the internet have been routed to China in circumstances still shrouded in mystery, Rodney Joffe, senior technologist at DNS (domain name system) registry Neustar, told CNET News in an interview this week.

The first situation happened on 24 March, when workers at network operation centers in various parts of the world noticed that traffic to popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and about 20 or 30 others was being redirected to servers in China as a result of traffic interception via one of the main DNS root servers. This had the result of giving web surfers in western countries a glimpse of what Chinese internet users see when they try to access sites that are blocked — error messages indicating that the sites don't exist or censored Chinese-language versions of the sites. It's unknown how long the situation lasted, according to Joffe.

For more on this story, read Web traffic redirected to China still a mystery on CNET News.

Topics: Browser, China, Networking, Servers

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