An unusual DNS error briefly crippled Internet access to major websites in China yesterday afternoon, leaving million of Chinese Internet users offline for three hours.
Starting at 3 p.m. yesterday, a number of domestic service providers could not get connections with their DNS servers. Connections were restored after three hours. Some providers stated that the disconnection was due to an unusual DNS error. But domain names with ".cn" were in normal
Monitoring by 360 website guard, China's local Internet security company, indicated that traffic had been redirected to an IP address located in the U.S. - "126.96.36.199" - and also found that two thirds of local DNS had been disabled.
China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said on its official microblog that according to preliminary assessment, the failure occurred due to problems in the domain of the upper level - the root domain. Another suggested explanation was that the malfunction was caused by a hacking attack.
According to the DNSpod, as of 6 p.m. on January 21 the root domain in China has been resumed; however it will take another 12 hours to completely eliminate the influence of failure because DNS servers in different locations still have caches.
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