South Korean telco goes down, blames DDoS attack, later admits its BGP broke

Good thing the government didn't crank up the national alert system or anything ... Oh no, it did


South Korean telco KT, which has around 30 per cent of the nation’s mobile market, has admitted that a network outage was caused by its own blunder and not a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

The outage struck the carrier on Monday at 1120, and meant that subscribers had no internet access and struggled to make phone calls or accept payments. Service for some customers resumed 85 minutes later, though the downtime was felt nationwide and restoration times varied.

The telco initially cried DDoS, and news that it was under attack was taken seriously – as is proper when your nation is technically still at war with hostile neighbors. Korean media reported that the authorities rushed to investigate the attack and the nation's Ministry of ICT even invoked its emergency warning system and rated the incident as a SEV-3 on a five-point scale.

KT later admitted that a border gateway protocol (BGP) configuration error, and not a DDoS, was the source of the IT breakdown. Service has since resumed for most customers, with some isolated reports of wobbly voice connections continuing.

And South Korea's alert status has been downgraded to levels of panic appropriate to the recent spate of missile launches from its northern neighbor. ®

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