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Xin Net DNS Server Malfunctions, Websites Collapse

Hackers attacked the server of Beijing Xin Net Digital Information Technology Co. Ltd. on April 27, 2007 at 9:00 am. Xin Net is the biggest provider of DNS (domain name server) registration in China. The hack resulted in break down of 100,000 or more websites the DNS serves so visitors could not access them. TMCnet published this in news on May 7, 2007.

According to market observers, the collapse may have occurred due to a hacker attack or server malfunctioning. Hackers usually choose registration providers that do not possess an abuse policy or those, which do not have support pages in Chinese language thus making reporting tough. TMCnet published this on May 7, 2007.

However, Xin Net did not believe that server hacking was the reason behind the break down. The company said that technicians were repairing the problem and the server might be up in an hour and half. Later, it announced that the server was again functioning normally from 10:45 am. It also said that there had been some malfunctioning due to mechanical problems in the maintenance process.

But the company could not recover the portions of Web sites under its service by 2 pm on April 27, 2007. Xin Net explained that the data synchronization could take some time.

The reason for this being, root servers only point at the direction of the DNS server for every domain name. Therefore, the user has to register for the DNS server for a particular domain to enable the root servers to direct people toward it. After this a user's DNS stores the DNS server's response, locally. The DNS updates it after the expiry of TTL. The problem occurs, when this does not take place with the registration provider's DNS.

There was another attack on Xin Net's DNS server on September 21, 2006. Then also 1 million websites were out of reach for two to three days continuously.

Recently the problem affected three large DNS servers provided they managed an improvement within seven days. Test against the company's broadband cable provider showed that only one DNS server had improved within that period.

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