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Nigerian Firm Apologizes for Google’s Glitch

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter.

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A Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Nigeria’s Main One Cable took responsibility Tuesday for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network
upgrade.

The issue surfaced Monday afternoon as internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked.

Main One said in an email that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, the West African firm said.

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem Monday in a post on its website that said it was investigating the glitch and that it believed the problem originated outside the company. The company did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

Google representatives could not be reached Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement.

Hacking concerns

Even though Main One said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the internet.

The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington group that advises the U.S. Congress on security issues, plans to investigate the issue, said Commissioner Michael Wessel.

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases in which traffic from U.S. internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus.

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible that Monday’s issue was not an accident.

Also Read: Google Investigating The Root Cause Of its Malfunction

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging that the Chinese government had conducted a series of internet hijacks.

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again. (VOA)

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Unintended Consequences if You Regulate us for The Sake of it: Google CEO Sundar Pichai

The news comes amid the debate on whether large technology companies like Facebook should be broken up

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

Facing an anti-trust probe from the US government, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has cautioned against those who may want to regulate the tech giants “for the sake of regulating.”

In an interview with CNN Business, Pichai said his company had gone through similar situations in Europe, so the probe wasn’t a surprise for them. “For some of the other companies, maybe the scrutiny is newer,” Pichai said on Friday.

“Scrutiny is right, and we will participate constructively in these discussions,” he said and added: “I worry that if you regulate for the sake of regulating it, it has a lot of unintended consequences.”

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Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. Wikimedia Commons

The news comes amid the debate on whether large technology companies like Facebook should be broken up.

Also Read- Want to Test Your Nerves? Trek to Great Himalayan National Park

On an anti-trust complaint from the European Commission regarding ranking of shopping search results and ads in 2010, Google was fined $2.7 billion in 2017. (IANS)