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Google Hack Not A Hack

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-10

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No word on whether anyone's been sacked, and Google claims it wasn't an attack that set its DNS back.

Administrators tweak settings in technology devices all the time. But admins are human, and mistakes can be made.

Usually they are rectified quickly, with minimal impact on users. But when you're the world's premier search company with lots of visitors, even a brief interruption can generate a firestorm of controversy.

Last Saturday evening, one of Google's nameservers became unable to fulfill DNS requests. Users could not reach the search engine, or read Gmail, or even have AdSense content displayed on their sites.

What further caused panic in some users was the performance of their web browsers. When google.com could not be reached, the browsers appended a .net to the end of the domain name, sending users to google.com.net.

The new destination looked like an inferior imitation of Google. Users immediately assumed they were victims of a browser hijack and took to the forums around the web to post their thoughts.

Once the proper settings were restored to the Google nameserver, requests began to be handled normally, and the situation was resolved. Sometimes, it is the simplest explanation that proves correct.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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