Monday, June 24, 2019

internet outage from BGP misconfiguration

An internet outage caused by DQE and apparently Verizon shows how fragile the web is.

"A Small ISP in Pennsylvania Tanked a Big Chunk of the Web on Monday
And how Verizon apparently made it much worse."

The internet uses BGP, or border gateway protocol, which is basically a routing map or, as some call it, the USPS of the web. It takes internet traffic and data and picks the most efficient route to get that traffic to somewhere else on the internet (like you). That works great most of the time, but something went wrong on Monday. 

That something was a mistaken signal sent out by DQE Communications, a small commercial internet service provider that services about 2,000 buildings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, according to Cloudflare Chief Technology Officer John Graham-Cumming. “This little company said, ‘These 2,400 networks, including some bits of Cloudflare, some bits of Amazon, some bits of Google and Facebook, whole swathes of the internet,’ they said those networks are ours, you can send us their traffic,” ...

That misconfiguration was probably the result of automatic route optimizing software and not someone intentionally screwing up the routes,

Verizon, which apparently accepted the faulty routes and then passed them on."

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