The outage of Google services still would have affected G Suite customers worldwide, security research firm Thousand Eyes stated: "This incident at a minimum caused a massive denial of service to G Suite and Google Search".
The incident was first detected and reported by BGPmon, an online service that monitors the routes that internet traffic takes through the smaller internet service provider (ISP) networks that make up the larger internet.
But the problem can also result from human error.
ThousandEyes marketing executive Alex Henthorne-Iwane said in a statement: "All of Google's public-facing edge seems to be getting broadly affected." he added, "Most of the traffic is being dropped at China Telecom".More news: Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer Michael Avenatti Arrested For Felony Domestic Violence
"While setting up a new interconnection, the Nigerian ISP nearly certainly inadvertently leaked the routing information to China Telecom who then leaked it out to the rest of the world", said Prince added.
Google said that no data was harmed or stolen and it has no reason to believe that it was an attack.
ThousandEyes named the companies involved in Monday's incident, in addition to China Telecom, as the Russian internet provider Transtelecom and the Nigerian ISP MainOne. "If this could happen to a company with the scale and resources available that Google has, realize it could happen to anyone". Henthorn-Iwane says this case may have been a war- game test of hijacking capabilities by a nation-state. Experts say it is fixable but that would require investments in encrypted routers that the industry has resisted.
"Throughout the duration of this issue Google services were operating as expected and we believe the root cause of the issue was external to Google".More news: Blue Devils beat Carolina, keep Victory Bell
ThousandEyes said the diversion at minimum made Google's search and business collaboration tools hard or impossible to reach and "put valuable Google traffic in the hands of ISPs in countries with a long history of Internet surveillance".
This bad routing announcement leaked downstream to other ISPs, causing more and more nearby providers to send Google-intended traffic to MainOne's network, instead of the normal BGP routes.
In an update to its Google Cloud Status Dashboard, Google said it was conducting an internal investigation in the hope of making "appropriate improvements" to help prevent a future recurrence of the issue. The misdirection didn't affect applications like Gmail and Google Drive. This past April, another hijacking enabled cryptocurrency theft.More news: Irish outcry over teenager's underwear used in rape trial