An internet diversion that rerouted data traffic through Russia and China disrupted several Google services on Monday, including search and cloud-hosting services. Service interruptions lasted for nearly two hours and ended about 5:30 p.m. EST., network service companies said. In addition to Russian and Chinese telecommunications companies, a Nigerian internet provider was also involved.
The diversion “at a minimum caused a massive denial of service to G Suite (business collaboration tools) and Google Search” and “put valuable Google traffic in the hands of ISPs in (internet service providers) in countries with a long history of Internet surveillance,” the network-intelligence company ThousandEyes said in a blog post.
A Google status page noted that “access to some Google services was impacted” and said the cause was “external to Google .” The company offered little additional information.
The specific method employed, formally known as border gateway protocol hijacking, can knock essential services offline and facilitate espionage and financial theft. Most network traffic to Google services —94 percent as of October 27 — is encrypted, which shields it from prying eyes even if diverted.