UPDATED–There were widespread Internet outages and slowdowns on Monday after backbone provider Level3 Communications had a major outage, affecting some downstream providers and enterprises. The company says that the problem stemmed from a software issue with some of its routers.
A source with knowledge of the incident told Threatpost that L3 is still investigating the outages, which began at around 14:00 GMT. The company still isn’t sure what is causing the outage, but initial speculation points to an issue with routers by Juniper and operated by L3 that began mysteriously crashing and causing cascading problems on the L3 backbone. The company’s investigators aren’t sure of the cause of the crashes, which could be due to a bad software update or, potentially, to attacks. However, the source said that L3 has no evidence, as yet, that attacks on the Juniper routers are the cause of the crashes.
“Shortly after 9 a.m. ET today, our network experienced temporary service interruptions across North America and Europe apparently due to a router manufacturer software issue. It has been reported that a similar issue may have affected other carriers as well. Our technicians worked quickly to address the issue and service is now fully restored,” a statement from L3 said.
Many users on Twitter and elsewhere were reporting issues with their Juniper routers crashing and rebooting off and on Monday morning, and some of the speculation centered on a problem with a BGP update. There also were reports of widespread problems with Time Warner Cable’s connectivity on Monday.
A number of members of the North American Network Operators Group mailing list were reporting major issues, as well, with many referencing problems with Juniper routers that were coredumping and rebooting. Specifically, the problems seem to be affecting routers running JunOS versions 10.2 and 10.3., and users are pointing to a problematic BGP update as the source of the issue.BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is one of the core protocols underlying the Internet and is used by large ISPs to establish connections among one another.
This story was updated to add information provided by Level3.