Russian Internet users report service disruptions amid ‘massive outage’ in Russia-specific domain
Update: Two hours after promising an imminent solution to Tuesday’s Top Level Domain RU outage, Russia’s Digital Development Ministry announced that access was finally restored, though the agency warned that some DNS problems might persist while the updated data were distributed throughout the domain name system.
Russian Internet users from across the country using several different operators have reported disruptions to their mobile service, as well as issues with accessing certain services and websites.
The service Downradar has recorded complaints about the performance of the Russian operators MTS and MegaFon, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant.
Users said they were experiencing issues with tech giant Yandex, social media network VKontakte, and online retailer Ozon. There were also complaints about the operations of websites belonging to major banks and marketplaces. Users abroad also reported issues accessing Russian websites.
MegaFon told news outlet RBC that it had recorded decreased traffic volumes, but that the problem was not “on MegaFon’s network.” The operator Beeline reported that their network was operating normally and that possible failures “are outside Beeline’s area of responsibility.” Tele2’s services are also functioning normally, as reported by Telegram channel RVNP.
Specialized Telegram channel Kod Durova reports a “massive outage in the RU domain.” “In the domestic domain zone, there are issues with resolving domain names — roughly speaking, a DNSSEC outage. Because of this, hundreds of services and websites in the RuNet are currently experiencing disruptions,” said the channel.
The Net Freedoms Project explained that the Domain Name System (DNS) is like “a phonebook that translates familiar domain addresses (URLs) like kremlin.ru into machine-readable IP addresses like 188.8.131.52. The connection between a domain name and IP address is called resolving,” writes the project, explaining that the DNS “has protection in the form of a digital signature called DNSSEC.” “It protects this critical phone book from tempering by malicious actors,” reads the project’s post.
The Net Freedoms Project said that the Russian authorities have “long warned that they would try to move all users in the country to the national DNS server,” and conclude that this is what’s likely happening right now.
The .RU/.RF Coordination Center, which administers Russia’s high-level national domains, told St. Petersburg outlet Fontanka that they are working to fix the problem. They said the problem was associated with “the global DNSSEC infrastructure.”
Russia’s Digital Development Ministry said that website with the .ru domain would be restored “in the near future,” reports Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. The ministry also said that the problem was “associated with the global DNSSEC infrastructure.” The ministry added that the outage was resolved for users of Russia’s National Domain Name System.
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