Google and Yahoo: Even the Greats Can Fall

In the world of the Internet, you don’t expect giants like Google and Yahoo! to take a fall – but that’s exactly what happened this week. While it wasn’t the .com domains that failed, Google and Yahoo’s .ie domains experienced a severe outage that left people wondering what in the world of the Web was going on.

Where Did Google and Yahoo! Go?

That’s the question millions were asking when the Google.ie and Yahoo.ie websites went down this week. Where were the Internet giants and what exactly happened? Both of the websites went down on Sunday for a prolonged period in the afternoon. So what exactly did happen?

According to Google, the website and service downtimes were the result of an unauthorized change made to the domains’ name servers. It appears that hackers were at it again, wreaking havoc amongst the World Wide Web.

As visitors tried to get to the Google and Yahoo! websites, they were redirected to a fraudulent website address. The sites had been hijacked, as hackers would call it. It’s not only surprising that Internet giants like Google and Yahoo! would be susceptible to such an attack, but it’s also surprising that it took them hours to correct the problem. It became increasingly evident that Web surfers were becoming frustrated and confused as the outage went on.

As one Twitter member, Spin 1038, stated, “Google.ie appears to be down this afternoon. The search giant hasn't confirmed or denied reports that the site has been hacked.” The confusion of Web surfers was evident in Pat McArdie’s tweet, “Google.ie is still down for me. Anyone else having problems?”

A Word to the Wise

If you think your site is unsusceptible to hackers attacking your DNS settings or your website host, guess again. If giants like Google and Yahoo! aren’t impervious, then it’s safe to say your site isn’t bulletproof either. So what can you do?

If you’re an Alertra customer, you’ve already taken a good step in the right direction. If your site does go down due to a DNS issue or an attack on your hosting provider, you’re going to know about it. Knowing, however, is only half the battle. You need to know exactly what to do if and when such a thing occurs. Know how to change your DNS settings and how to put temporary measures in place in the event of such an attack.

You can’t prevent Internet hackers from playing their games, but you don’t have to be a blind target. If a hacker attacks, we’ll let you know about it. Then you can take matters into your own hands to minimize any damage they may be trying to cause.