Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Comcast has a major outage Sunday night, maybe a DNS hack?

At a time when Comcast is getting heat over net neutrality issues and the dispute with Level3, it had a major outage Sunday night, for over three hours, for many areas from northern Virginia to New England. The Boston Globe has a story by D.C. Denison and Erin Ailworth, “Comcast outage leaves Internet customers adrift,” link here.

The problem appears to have occurred in Comcast’s domain name resolution system. Some savvy users got around by using their routers to connect to Google’s DNS service. There is some suggestion that this could have been caused by hacking, linking back to a DNS security hole discussed on my “ID theft” blog in August 2008.

I’ll hunt around on this later, but here is an article on how to use a Cisco router as a DNS server (link).

I have sometimes had trouble reaching specific sites from Comcast (like AOL mail) and find that it works when I switch to Verizon Wireless broadband.

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