DNS Poisoning or DNS misconfiguration? Telstra services back after a massive outage

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Telstra outage: Australian citizens unable to connect to the Internet after denial of service attack; Telstra says it was a DNS misconfiguration

The Australian top Internet service provider, Telstra suffered a huge outage due to a denial of service attack. The outage was so huge that Australian citizens, especially those from the East Coast were left without an Internet connection for several hours on Sunday. Telstra has since recovered from the DoS attack and the services are getting back to normalcy. The Telstra Internet outage started at around 10.30 am AEST and was resolved by about 2.30 pm AEST. However, some Telstra customers may still find difficulty in connecting to the Internet.

Telstra in the morning claimed that the malicious actors caused the Denial of Service through a DNS poisoning attack.

Telstra earlier claimed that a “massive messaging storm” caused the DNS to be overwhelmed and took down a portion of Telstra’s domain name server infrastructure causing the Internet to go down for many Telstra customers.  Telstra in an initial statement said that it had suffered a DNS poisoning attack and its DNS infrastructure was targeted by a malicious cyberattack.

“We’re blocking the malicious traffic attacking some of our services. We are confident we have blocked all of this malicious traffic and are working to get you back up and running again. Thanks for sticking with us,” it said.

However, a few hours later, Telstra claimed that the outage was caused by a DNS misconfiguration. “The massive messaging storm that presented as a Denial of Service cyber-attack has been investigated by our security teams and we now believe that it was not malicious, but a Domain Name Server issue,” Telstra stated.

However, many security researchers believe that the Telstra outage was the work of hackers who launched a DNS DoS attack. Australia has already conceded that its infrastructure is targeted by China government-backed hackers and this issue may also be linked to China. Back in June 2020, Prime Minister had gone on record to say all the Australian government websites, public and private companies, and some high-end officials were being targeted by state-funded cyber attacks from the past few months.

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"The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." Eric Schmidt

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