Global Internet slowdown: India largely unaffected, says Kapil Sibal

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New Delhi, March 29: A day after the biggest cyber-attack and under-sea cable cuts led to a global Internet slowdown and threatened the existence of the Web itself, IT and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal today tried to allay fears over its adverse impact on India.

“There was a very marginal impact. Only BSNL services were affected, that too in the south. North India largely remained unaffected. Private service providers were unaffected. We remained mostly unaffected as most of the DNS servers are located in India,” Mr Sibal said. A DNS or Domain Name System is a standard technology for managing the names of websites and other Internet domains. It contains a database of network names and addresses for other Internet hosts.

Mr Sibal also said that there is no need for the government to issue any advisory. “Advisories will only be issued if there are long term impacts. We are hoping that by evening we will be in a better position to understand the situation,” he said.

On Thursday, as a result of a massive cyber-attack (called “bazooka” attack) on spam-fighting company Spamhaus from groups angry at being blacklisted, led to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack which at times peaked at more than 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data – three times higher than the previous record attack of 100 Gbps. (Read: The Internet is falling! Or is it?)

Anybody trying to access the Internet within the path that this attack was travelling felt that the Net is dead. And as coincidences go, Etisalat, one of the biggest ISPs suffered a break in one of its fiber optic cables in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast near Alexandria. This led to most of the Middle East and others areas going dark too. Both were completely unrelated events though.

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