RealTime IT News

Google Back After Going Black

Internet search giant Google's engine sputtered briefly over the weekend when its Web site blacked-out, leaving millions of visitors looking for answers elsewhere.

The search page reportedly was down from 6:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST on Saturday, and access to Gmail, Google News and other properties were unavailable during that period.

A Domain Name System (DNS) was blamed for the glitch, as company officials were quick to dismiss any suggestions the breakdown was security related.

"It was not a hacking or security issue," Steve Langdon, a spokesman for Google, said. "Google's global properties were unavailable for a short period of time. We have remedied the problem, and access to Google has been restored worldwide."

Some users reported being directed to a search service called SoGoSearch during the interruption. Google has denied its servers were compromised by the incident.

The DNS translates domain names into IP addresses, and each time a domain is used, a DNS service translates the name into the corresponding IP address. In effect, the DNS system operates as its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks others to do it until it is accepted.

The system, which relies on 13 "root" servers that translate direct messages, has come under fire in recent years, as analysts call for updating the aging networks.

As previously reported in 2002 a DoS hole was discovered in some DNS Servers, and in 2003 a sustained DoS attack partially shut down many parts of the DNS system.

Google said all systems were up and running at regular capacity.