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July 19, 2012 Comments (0) Views: 499 Middle East, Quicklook

Syria Briefly Disconnects

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For about 40 minutes today, all networks routed through the Syrian incumbent, Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (AS29256 and AS29386), were withdrawn from the global routing table, effectively cutting off most of Syria from the Internet. syria_tweet.jpg

Typically, there are 66 routed Syrian prefixes (networks) and 61 of these go though the incumbent, STE. All of these networks were unavailable from 13:32 UTC to 14:12 UTC, or 4:32 to 5:12PM local time. However, five routed Syrian networks were not impacted by this incident.

While these five prefixes are registered to STE and geolocate to the country, they are originated directly by global provider Tata (AS6453), ranked as the eighth largest Internet provider globally and third in the Middle East according to Renesys’ Market Intelligence. Interestingly enough, among the websites hosted in these networks is one providing a fake Skype encryption tool,
purportedly targeting Syrian opposition activists.

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As expected, this STE outage is also visible in our traceroute data (visualized on the right). During the 40-minute routing outage, no Internet traffic of any sort entered Syria via STE. sy-trace-3.t3.ASedges2.upstreamsof29386.png

Despite the on-going civil strife in Syria,
Internet connectivity has generally been quite stable. The last large outage lasting more than a few minutes occurred in October 2011 and involved 34 networks for an hour and forty minutes. Prior to that, we observed and commented on a weekend outage in June 2011.

We will continue to monitor the situation and report on noteworthy Internet developments within Syria as they occur.

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