Google Shut Down for 15 Minutes, Thought Hacked
Google, which processes some 200 million searches a day, was down for approximately fifteen minutes yesterday evening.
Googling stopped for 15 minutes on Saturday. The world’s leading internet search engine shut down from 6:45 to 7 p.m. eastern time, according to Google spokesman David Krane. “It was not a hacking or a security issue,” said Krane. He said the problem was related to the DNS, or Domain Name System, though Krane did not elaborate. The DNS translates domain names for computers. “Google’s global properties were unavailable for a short period of time,” Krane said. “We’ve remedied the problem and access to Google has been restored worldwide.”
On Wednesday, the company, based in Mountain View, launched its Web Accelerator service. It’s intended to speed access to Web pages by offering cached or compressed copies of sites from Google’s servers.
Google’s Web site was inaccessible for a brief time Saturday and some visitors reported being rerouted to another site, leading some to believe that the search giant had been hacked. [...] Rumors that the site was hacked began when visitors were reportedly rerouted to SoGoSearch.com.
Softpedia sees something bigger at work: The death and rebirth of Google
In one of our editorials, Welcome to the Google twilight zone!, we invited you to imagine how the world would look like without Google. Well, yesterday Google “offered” us the chance to see for ourselves. According to the official statements, for 15 minutes, during 6:45 and 7:00 PM Eastern Time, Google was down. And we I say Google was down, I mean the entire range of services: Gmail, Google News, Froogle. Although David Krane, the company’s spokesman, said the servers were down for 15 minutes, several users didn’t have access for approximately 45 minutes. During this time, anyone who typed in www.google.com was redirected to SoGOSearch.com or other pages, convincing many that Google was defeated by hackers.
In reality, it seems it was a DNS problem, or at least that’s what David Krane said for Mercury News , stressing the idea that there was no security or hacking issue. This might be true, since many users reported they could access Google’s services by typing in the IP address of the search engine.
The cause of this problem is still unknown. Some say it was and error generated by Google Web Accelerator, others are convinced this was successful hacking attack. Considering Google’s discretion regarding its products and services, it remains to be seen if an official statement with more details will be released.
Given how much many of us depend on Google’s many services, the fact that they may be vulnerable to shut-down is scary. I guess that’s just life on the Internets.