Traffic from major sites redirected to China

Traffic from major sites redirected to China

Summary: Workers at Internet network operation centers around the world are trying to figure out why traffic to sites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook was redirected to servers in China this week.

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Workers at Internet network operation centers around the world are trying to figure out why traffic to sites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook was redirected to servers in China this week, giving Web surfers around the globe a glimpse of what Chinese Internet users see when they try to access those blocked sites.

On Wednesday, someone at Chile's Domain Name System (DNS) registry, the Internet Protocol (IP) address lookup system, said a local Internet service provider had noticed strange behavior and asked his counterparts in other parts of the world about it on an industry e-mail list.

Read: Special Report: Google-China showdown

Specifically, one of the main DNS root servers, called the I Root Server and operated in Sweden, was directing visitors trying to go to those sites instead to servers in China. This effectively sent people behind the Great Firewall of China, a strictly controlled network of servers and routers the People's Republic of China uses to filter the Internet and block its citizens from accessing content deemed politically sensitive.

Representatives from Twitter and Facebook did not respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment on Thursday night.

A spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, declined to comment, saying "this appears to be a specific ISP level issue." He said it was not related to Google's English-language corporate site appearing in Chinese, Danish, and other languages on Wednesday, which the company attributed to a bug.

For more of this story, read Web traffic redirected to China in mystery mix-up on CNET News.

Topics: Google, Browser, CXO, China, IT Employment

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20 comments
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  • Shortest hop

    Perhaps it just became the shortest hop and the routers sent it that way.

    I know that I put Sweden on a block list for one customer when they introduce warrant less Internet surveillance a few years back, and found traffic routed through Russia as a consequence.

    If that traffic went through China, there would be a risk it would be caught in their filter.
    guihombre
    • I can't agree with that

      I bet we'll find out that the real problem was Chinese trying to steal information by directing buggy M$ winblow machines to rigged Chinese sites that would download code on to those systems so that they can spy on us!
      Ron Bergundy
      • Bott's Law invoked. (nt)

        nt
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • What's Bott's Law?

          I've heard of Godwin's Law, but not Bott's.
          AllKnowingAllSeeing
          • Google is your friend

            http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12354-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=71142&messageID=1370726&tag=trunk;content

            7.1. The new Godwin's Law

            Ed Bott - 11/02/09

            As a comment thread that discusses Microsoft Windows gets longer, the probablity that someone will invoke Linux approaches 1.
            BGunnells
          • I like this...

            LOL. I like this, but didn't you just prove it by defining is? Also, the the inverse is true for Linux threads.
            fromthehip
          • Only in this case it's a windows apologist posing as a satirist

            That guy has for a few months been trying to use satire to make Linux look bad.

            Fortunately for him most zdnet readers lack basic skills to detect that.

            All I can say is this: He's light years behind Mike Cox.
            Great Kahuna
        • Boy are you stupid!

          Do I really have to explain everything to you?

          Can't you see that you just replied to a satirist?

          That's a satirist trying to make Linux look bad. Good grief.
          Great Kahuna
          • I don't care what you think, Mental(ist).

            nt
            Hallowed are the Ori
      • Nice try. Unfortunately your satire is of very low quality.

        You're light years behind Mike Cox.
        Great Kahuna
  • China spying or demonstrating its ability to spy on us

    This should set off big red flags (pun intended)! They hacked IE6, and IE8 fell in minutes on Windows7, so the chinese likely have control of our routers as well....
    bobdavis321
    • China spying or demonstrating its ability to spy on us

      spot on. the sky is, indeed, falling. everyone should be made aware of the impending doom. keep up the good work.
      jiagebusen
  • CNET Article

    The linked article has more information but the same lack of conclusion. The article had comments from experts that ranged from accidental and sloppy to accusing China of escallating the spat with Google.

    The end of the article makes a point that the internet structure needs to be changed to stop this kind of problem. The technology is not present to cut off accidental or otherwise misrouting or hi-jacking.

    Assuming that there was no malicious intent; this still shows that there is a vulnerability to the internet that doesn't have a solution.
    sboverie
  • RE: Traffic from major sites redirected to China

    Snip : People's Republic of China uses to filter the Internet and block its citizens from accessing content deemed politically sensitive.

    Probably in cooperation with the white house, going to outsource Tyranny 2.0 to the chinese, part of the new stimulus package.
    TMANIAC
    • Huh?

      wtf are you talking about, exactly? Is every topic for you somehow about Obama? Are you in love with Obama? Can't stop thinking about him and how much you love him? Heh.
      justthisguyyouknow
  • Sounds like someone is playing with the DNS weakness.

    I wondered how long it would take for someone to use it.

    For anyone else.. if you want to take down an exchange server, just start sending emails loaded with metatags. It will cause the exchange server to curl up and die.. eventually.
    Been_Done_Before
  • RE: Traffic from major sites redirected to China

    American hackers working out of China is definitely nothing new.

    Welcome to globalisation, deceit and media frenzy...
    OKirin
  • just goes to show

    DNS is pwNed. DNS is done, deader than a dodo.

    capiche?

    its time quantum crypto was used to take the internet
    back.

    its time DNS and other essential infrastructure was
    taken out of the hands of the robber barons and
    properly maintained by those without vested interests
    to hack and steal.
    walkerjian@...
    • who then?

      Who doesn't have a vested interest to hack and steal?
      Governments increasingly want to control, censor, and tax. Telcos want to own the "tubes" and monopolize content delivery. And a handful of the most powerful nations, negotiating ACTA, want to turn courts, police, ISPs and border guards everywhere into a private law enforcement vehicle for the "content industry."
      We'd need an internationally mandated body or task force to define and enforce the implementation of a robust, hands-off routing and domain name system. Fat chance.
      overnout
      • 1984 and you don't know it

        did you guys not read a previosu article taking Apple back to 1984?

        It is happening (really)

        Read the book...it is a very good read!
        Bradish@...