Syria Drops Off the World Wide Web
The state news agency is blaming faulty cable as the reason for the shutdown, now in its second day of effect.The war-torn nation of Syria has been almost completely switched off from the Internet, according to the Umbrella Security Labs team, which reported on a blog post that there was a "significant" drop in traffic from the country, and it later became apparent that Syria had "largely disappeared" from having a presence on the World Wide Web. The shutdown is now in its second day of effect, and the state news agency is blaming faulty cable as the reason, according to a report in Al-Jazeera. The news agency quoted a communications official claiming efforts are ongoing to fix the faults and to bring Internet and telephone services back up as soon as possible. "Effectively, the shutdown disconnects Syria from Internet communication with the rest of the world. It’s unclear whether Internet communication within Syria is still available," Umbrella Labs chief technology officer Dan Hubbard wrote on the post. "Although we can’t yet comment on what caused this outage, past incidents were linked to both government-ordered shutdowns and damage to the infrastructure, which included fiber cuts and power outages." The post explained that the top level domain (TLD) servers in Syria were unreachable, and shutting down Internet access to and from Syria was achieved by withdrawing the border gateway protocol (BGP) routes from Syrian prefixes. The BGP is the protocol that is used to make core routing decisions on the Internet.
Most Internet service providers must use BGP to establish routing between one another. Therefore, even though most Internet users do not use it directly, BGP is one of the most important protocols of the Internet. Umbrella Security Labs, which is the threat research division of OpenDNS, also reported on an Internet blackout in Syria November of 2012, where the organization shared details of the top 10 most failed domains during the outage.