- An internet traffic diversion disrupted Google services and re-routed its data
- Interruptions lasted for nearly 1.5 hours until 10:30pm GMT (5:30pm EST)
- Russian, Chinese and Nigerian internet service providers were involved
- Google said it had no reason to believe the traffic hijacking was malicious
- Network intelligence experts disagree and believe it may have been a wargame
Google has been hit by an attack that re-routed the firm’s global internet traffic through servers located in Russia, China and Nigeria as part of a ‘wargame experiment’.
Security experts have spoken out about the data diversion, which may be a prelude to more widescale attacks in the future by the three nations involved.
Information from Google searches, cloud-hosting services and the company’s bundle of collaboration tools for businesses – known as G Suite – were all affected.
Google is downplaying the incident, described by one expert as the ‘worst ever’ in the firm’s history, saying it does not believe it was malicious.
The firm has yet to confirm the exact nature of the data affected, as well as how many users have been put at risk, with millions potentially in the firing line.
Experts are concerned about the prospect of Russia, China and Nigeria gaining access to users’ private data by monitoring the re-routed traffic.
The attack may be a sign of things to come as cyber warfare steps up between the West and its global competitors.