YouTube, a favorite socializing place for a lot of people was dark for untold number of people yesterday. This was caused by Pakistan Government issuing orders to block YouTube from Pakistanis but extended the ban to most of the Internet. Here is what happened according to AP.
NEW YORK (AP) — Most of the world's Internet users lost access to YouTube for several hours Sunday after an attempt by Pakistan's government to block access domestically affected other countries.On Friday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority ordered 70 Internet service providers to block access to YouTube.com, because of anti-Islamic movies on the video-sharing site, which is owned by Google Inc.
The block was intended to cover only Pakistan, but extended to about two-thirds of the global Internet population, starting at 1:47 p.m. EST Sunday, according to Renesys Corp., a Manchester, N.H., firm that keeps track of the pathways of the Internet for telecommunications companies and other clients.
Two apparent errors allowed the outage to propagate beyond Pakistan, according to Todd Underwood, vice president and general manager of Internet community services at Renesys.
Pakistan Telecom established a route that directed requests for YouTube videos from local Internet subscribers to a "black hole," where the data was discarded, according to Renesys. Pakistan Telecom's mistake was that it then published that route to its international data carrier, PCCW Ltd. of Hong Kong, Underwood said.
The second mistake was that PCCW accepted that route, Underwood said. It started directing requests from its customers for YouTube data to Pakistan. And since PCCW is one of the world's 20 largest data carriers, its routing table was passed along to other large carriers without any attempt at verification.
"Once a pretty big network gets an error like that, it propagates to most or all of the Internet very quickly," Underwood said. As he put it, Pakistan Telecom was impersonating YouTube to much of the world.
The greatest effect was in Asia, were the outage lasted for up to two hours, Renesys said.
YouTube confirmed the outage on Monday, saying it was caused by a network in Pakistan.
"We are investigating and working with others in the Internet community to prevent this from happening again," YouTube said in an e-mailed statement.Misrouting occurs every year or so among the world's Internet carriers, usually as a result of typos or other errors, Underwood said. In a more severe example, a Turkish telecom provider in 2004 started advertising that it was the best route to all of the Internet, causing widespread outages for many Web sites over several hours.
While most route hijacking is unintentional, some Yahoo networks were apparently taken over a few years ago to distribute spam.
"To be honest, there's not a single thing preventing this from happening to E-Trade, or Bank of America, or the FBI, or the White House, or the Clinton campaign," Underwood said. "I think it's a useful moment for people to decide just how important it is that we fix problems like this."
Associated Press writer Sadaqat Jan contributed to this report from Islamabad, Pakistan.
Complete AP Report here.
tag: youtube, pakistan youtube filtering, Pakistan Telecom, black hole, PCCW, Misrouting, route hijacking,