YouTube Taken Out by Pakistan

A Pakistan source caused a near global outage for the YouTube service.

Recently Pakistan ordered ISP's (Internet Service Providers) to block YouTube due to content that was deemed offensive to Islam. The blocking of the traffic had a potentially global effect on people accessing YouTube from around the world. Pakistan attempted to block its citizens from accessing YouTube to view the offensive material by Pakistan Telecom hijacking the web server address of YouTube.

Hijacking the web server address caused a major outage for the YouTube service for about an hour on a global scale. The details of the hijack were leaked out from PCCW Global, an internet service provider, and it was later said that YouTube was mistakenly blocked by many ISP's around the world. Because of the big mix-up, the traffic to YouTube was rerouted and many users around the world could not access the YouTube site.

One report stated that Pakistan's attempt to block YouTube was made because of certain content on YouTube including a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad may have upset many people. Other reports say it was material on YouTube that portrayed Islam in a negative way that prompted the hijack.

Users were quite upset about the incidents and wanted ISP's to take action. The Pakistan government had valid reasons for attempting the block but must find a better way of doing it without effecting users around the world.

With YouTube basically getting shut down for a period of time from a hijacking, it is apparent that popular websites are vulnerable to attacks. Whether the attack was justified in blocking certain content or a deliberate attack from hackers, it reminds us how volatile the internet is and how it can be manipulated by sources for good and for bad.

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