Google was not hacked

Posted by joy


I wrote this as a response to a posting over at OTB about Google being hacked on Saturday night

Since I took so much time writing it, I figured I might as well share it with you…

No, google was not hacked. What happened was threefold…

One, a Google employee was updating Google DNS records on a Saturday and messed up the initial update. Which, hey, could happen to anybody… Even though the update was apparently fixed soon after the initial DNS edit - the edit was cached and there was a wait for worldwide DNS server caches to flush. The unfortunate thing is that the initial mistake caused 1 in 4 google.com DNS lookups to fail. Oopsy.

Secondly, some browsers for some dumb reason will automatically append a .net to a domain name if the .com lookup fails. So, when someone went looking google.com, the lookup failed and then their browser sent them to www.google.com.net which apparently redirected to sogosearch.com (FYI: I tried tonight and it didn’t work for me.). Registering the domain name of google.com.net is not illegal, but pretty sneaky.

Thirdly, what caused a frenzy was that when people were doing Whois lookups and some people with a weird sense of humor used unusual names for their DNS nameserver machines. So people not familiar with DNS nameserver practices were seeing these unusual names (that don’t mean anything) and posting on various Web sites starting that “OMG Google was hacked”.

Oddly enough, the only reason why I noticed that Google was down was that I was rushing out the door and needed directions to a restaurant…so I ended up getting frustrated and had to use Yahoo…oh the humanity.

Some additional thoughts… Google’s IP address is 216.239.57.99

Here is the Slashdot thread

An interesting post at Broadband Reports.com scroll down


2 Responses to “Google was not hacked”

  1. fluffy Says:

    Google has many many many IP addresses, of which 216.239.57.99 is one of them. They actually have (and use most of) a rather large block, 216.239.32.0/19

  2. Arthur Says:

    Heh… I guess I missed out on this one. I must have been doing some important in Real-Life™.