China ISPs DNS problems on Jan 22nd - any idea what happened?

Patrick van Staveren pvanstaveren at
Sun Jan 26 06:00:29 UTC 2014

This past Tuesday the 22nd I was witness to a widespread DNS poisoning
problem in China, whereby a lot of DNS queries were all returning the same
IP address,  Our websites became unavailable for most of our
customers in China, as with many other websites.

The major difficulty that we had with one of our websites is that we use
Akamai's CDN, and Akamai's servers within China were unable to reach our
origin server in London - so it originally appeared as if Akamai was having
an issue before unofficial news surfaced that there was a larger problem
going on.

I have two questions for anyone:
1) I've found quite a bit of unofficial news [1] [2] on what happened, but
does anyone know what *actually* happened?  The only official news from the
government that I can find says, "It was probably a cyberattack, but
really, we don't know." [3]
2) As a website & network operator who strives to keep their product always
available, is there anything I can actually do to prevent from this in the

The most fun question I think everyone would love to know is - does anyone
from Hurricane Electric have a throughput graph showing the traffic surge
caused by this? It must be epic.



Patrick van Staveren
Head of IT, APAC & Global Head of IT Infrastructure
Mintel Group Ltd. <>

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