China’s internet traffic mysteriously redirected to US IP address for few hours
An alleged network error left internet access in China in a crippled state as users were unable to access some of the country’s top sites starting Tuesday afternoon.
According to reports, Internet traffic of Chinese netizens was mysteriously being redirected to an IP address in US, 18.104.22.168, belonging to Sophidea Webhosting. The hosting service is used to host multiple websites that reportedly critical of Chinese government including a publication that is blocked by China.
The issues were resolved within a few hours, but there is no information about the reason why such a bizarre behaviour was observed. Many users in China believe that it could be a DNS pollution attack targeting all the major website of China, while others believe that it could be a networking error at the top level – just where the site blocking happens. Instead of blocking an IP, the traffic may have been accidentally redirected to the US IP address.
The statement from local security and Internet monitoring groups have echoed the configuration error stating that the error was due to the country’s top level generic domains being improperly configured to redirect users.