Google’s Mistake Caused Massive Internet Outage in Japan

Google's mistake knocked off Internet for millions of Internet users in Japan

On Friday, August 25, Japan land outlasted the Internet outage, which continued for about 40 minutes. The massive Internet knock off caused both inconvenience and losses since people could not both social networks and online services, including banking, governmental websites, reservation systems, and so on.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry of Japan reacted to the incident immediately and started the investigation. It turned out, that the culprit of the massive Internet outage is the Internet search giant Google, which made a mistake on the IP block advertising and hijacked the BGM route. The hijack started at 12:22 PM local Japan time and was resolved by 1:01 PM.

The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is a standardized routing protocol, which serves as a network interconnector among autonomous systems (AS) and Internet service providers (ISP) that announce IP addresses available on their networks. Incorrect information about the IP address blocks availability provided by ISP results in the hijack of the BGM route.

That’s exactly what happened in Japan on Friday. Google provided an incorrect IP blocks that belong to Japanese ISPs, which is why the search giant accidentally took over the traffic of NTT Communications Corp., which also supports the OCN and KDDI Corp. ISPs. Consequently, more than 8 million customers, almost 8 million home users, and nearly half of a million companies were knocked off the Internet.

Although the culprit of the Internet outage in Japan is the fatal Google’s mistake in IP blocks advertising, Andree Toonk, who is the leading engineer of the BGPMon, mitigates Google’s responsibility by addressing the insufficient or zero filters on Verizon ISP. Verizon Company is responsible for routing the traffic for a large block on the Internet. The current Google’s failure reveals the fact that Verizon has little of zero filters to check the IP addresses sent by ISPs. Consequently, if any of the AS sends incorrect BGP announcements, they are automatically distributed to the peers, which further impact the Internet service massively.

Despite people’s anxiety and various discussions online, Google does not dilate on this incident. The Google’s spokesperson officially expressed disappointment and apologized for the inconveniences:

“We set wrong information for the network and, as a result, problems occurred. We modified the information to the correct one within eight minutes. We apologize for causing inconvenience and anxieties.”

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Linas Kiguolis
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