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CloudFlare blames today's downtime on South American backbone Internet provider Internexa

Updated: at 11:19 PM

With the heartbleed bug, shellshock, and now this BGP route leak incident, 2014 is exposing the fragility of the Internet

Route leak incident on October 2, 2014

This downtime was the result of a BGP route leak by Internexa, an ISP in Latin America. Internexa accidentally directed large amounts of traffic destined for CloudFlare data centers around the world to a single data center in Medellín, Colombia. At the same time Internexa also leaked routes belonging to Telecom Argentina causing disruption in Argentina. This was the result of Internexa announcing via BGP that their network, instead of ours, handled traffic for CloudFlare. This miscommunication caused a flood of traffic to quickly overwhelm the data center in Medellín. The incident lasted 49 minutes, from 15:08UTC to 15:57UTC.

In the past, we’ve written about the inherent fragility of the Internet’s core routing system, and the problem of “route leakage”. Throughout 2014, we’ve seen numerous high profile leaks. In April an Indonesian ISP leaked routes for large swathes of the Internet for a two hour period. Then in September portions of the Internet went offline because of a route leak when a hosting company leaked 400,000 routes, and back in March Google’s DNS was inaccessible in parts of the world because of a route leak. Route leakage is a hard problem that impacts every Internet service provider with no obvious or quick solution.

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