What’s Next For Syria’s Internet

Update: Internet access in Aleppo, Syria down again as Turk Telekom service to STE disrupted at 17:48:42 UTC yesterday, Aug 29 as confirmed by sources to the Washington Post. With the recent high-profile cyber attack against the New York Times , purportedly by the Syrian Electronic Army, and the subsequent hacking of Syrian DNS servers, […]

Cuban Internet Update

On Tuesday, Fidel Castro turned 87 years old and an article this week about his birthday states that he surfs the Internet from Cuba for “personality profiles and maps” among other things. But at US$4.50/hour, the Internet is still out of reach for average Cubans, despite recent developments that have brought another provider to the island. Internet in Cuba It […]

Myanmar Internet Disruptions

Before Egypt became the country known for shutting off its international Internet during anti-government protests in January 2011, it was Myanmar that was known for infamously shutting down its Internet connections for two weeks following anti-government protests which turned violent in September 2007.During those protests, as the government began cracking down on anti-government demonstrations, protestors began […]

Tension in Turkey

We’ve been asked all day to comment on the potential for Internet shutdowns in Turkey.    At this point, Renesys observes no significant changes in Turkey’s Internet routing, no significant outages affecting the routing of Turkey’s networks, no reduction in the number of inbound active measurements to Turkish hosts within the country from our infrastructure […]

‘Crecimiento’ in Latin America

Two weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of visiting Medellin, Colombia to present at the Latin American and Caribbean Network Operators Group (LACNOG) portion of LACNIC 19. Medellin is a vibrant place, recently recognized as the world’s most innovative city by the Urban Land Institute due to the city’s investments in public infrastructure and civic spaces. LACNIC19

Perhaps equally innovative is Colombia’s Internexa, which in recent years has been building the region’s first international terrestrial telecommunications network. Meanwhile, another remarkable regional story is the exponential growth of the domestic Internet in Brazil — especially when contrasted with the stagnation in Mexico. While government initiatives in Brazil, the region’s largest economy, were able to foster much of its recent growth, the current regulatory overhaul in Mexico hopes to achieve something similar in the region’s second largest economy.
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Cuba-Jamaica Link Activated

In the last week, we have observed a second non-satellite connection established for Cuban state telecom, ETECSA. This time a different segment of the ALBA-1 submarine cable is being used to connect Cuba to the neighboring island nation of Jamaica. At 15:04 UTC on 13 May 2013, we observed ETECSA beginning to receive international Internet service through Cable & Wireless Jamaica.

In January, we reported the news that the ALBA-1 submarine cable connecting Cuba to Venezuela had started carrying Internet traffic two years after its construction, answering the question of what happened to the mystery cable to Cuba. alba_cable.png

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Syrian Internet.. Fragility?

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Update (15:26 UTC, 15 May): Routes to Syrian networks have been restored, at 18:26 Damascus time. Outage duration: 8h25m

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Update (14:20 UTC, 15 May): Plot of latency measurements to Syrian hosts from various locations, indicating that replies stopped returning shortly after 7am UTC, aligned with the withdrawal of routes to Syrian networks. (Click image for details)

Update (07:30 UTC, 15 May): Syrian Internet down again since 07:01 UTC (10:00 Damascus time), Wednesday, 15 May 2013. Syrian news agency reports that they’re working to fix. Potentially related to forthcoming UN decision today?

Update: Syrian Internet has returned. Outage lasted 19.5 hours, from 18:45 UTC May 7th to 14:13 UTC May 8th.

As we write, the Syrian people are still disconnected from the global Internet at the most fundamental level, nearly all of their paths withdrawn from the global routing table. Since 18:45 UTC on May 7th, Renesys hasn’t seen a flicker of activity. We haven’t been able to successfully send a ping or a traceroute to any host inside Syria. Government websites, universities, domain name servers, core infrastructure routers, banks, businesses, DSL customers, smartphones: all silent.

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As I look back at what we’ve written about Internet outage over the years, I see a sort of evolution in our perspective. We’ve covered Internet failures due to war, politics, censorship, central planning, earthquakes, hurricanes, cable cuts, business disputes, terrorism, undersea mud volcanoes, and (perhaps) cyberwarfare.

In the early days, we reported each outage breathlessly, shocked that the Internet could fail in such spectacular ways. If you look around the web this morning, you’ll see a lot of that same shock-and-awe reporting from companies who are just discovering the fragilities visible in Internet data.

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Gulf States Turn to Iran, Russia for Internet

Sometimes, it takes a real disaster to create something genuinely new. March 2013 was a month of disasters in the Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East African Internet, with major submarine cable cuts affecting SMW3, SMW4, IMEWE, EIG, SEACOM, and TE-North.

One of the “genuinely new” Internet traffic paths that emerged in response is a counterintuitive terrestrial route, linking the ancient Indian Ocean trade empire of Oman with the Internet markets of Western Europe, by way of Iran, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Caucasus. As we’ll see, its effects are now being felt across the region, from Pakistan, to Gulf states like Bahrain and Oman, to Kenya.

epeg-homepage.png The EPEG (Europe-Persia Express Gateway) consortium was actually born in June 2011, as an alternative to the congested, politically uncertain Suez transit corridor. EPEG links together existing fiber routes from the Iranian, Azeri, and Russian incumbents, connected to Cable and Wireless’s network to approximate a Great Circle route to Frankfurt. With the aid of one final submarine hop across the Strait of Hormuz to Muscat, EPEG promised to deliver a major new low-latency, high-capacity terrestrial route to carry the Gulf states’ traffic to Europe.

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Intrigue Surrounds SMW4 Cut

It has been a rough few weeks for the global Internet, given numerous submarine cable failures and the largest DDOS attack ever reported. While we’re hard-pressed to find evidence of the purported global Internet slowdown due to the DDOS attack, the dramatic impacts of yesterday’s SMW4 submarine cable cut were profound. Recent reports that the cable break was the result of sabotage make the incident even more intriguing. In this blog, we detail what happened to some of the providers in four countries along the route of the cable: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India.

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Cyber Escalation in Korea?

On Friday, we published a blog confirming a disruption in Internet connectivity affecting the Internet of North Korea.

This morning, South Korean authorities reported that they have been the victims of a cyber attack which impacted TV News organizations as well as banking institutions.

Renesys can confirm that at least some of today’s incidents escalated to the point of global visibility, as both South and North Koreans networks experienced actual disconnections. We note similarly timed outages affecting South Korea’s largest natural gas company.

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