Internet users in China were affected by a large-scale outage over an eight-hour period on Jan. 21 that has been linked to an unspecified DNS problem that redirected traffic and prevented many Web users from reaching popular domains.
DNS (Domain Name System) is the technology that links domain names and routes them to the right IP address location. It is not entirely clear whether or not the DNS issue was the result of a hacker attack against China’s DNS infrastructure or whether it was an error made by Chinese government authorities.
The Chinese government operates an Internet-filtering capability for all Chinese Internet users that is generally referred to as the Great Firewall of China (GFW). At least one Great Firewall watchdog site is blaming the Great Firewall as the source of the DNS issue.