Google, Level 3 DNS services hijacked by TurkTelekom


Google said that most Turkish ISPs as the country battles users trying to circumvent censorship efforts by the government are intercepted its free DNS (Domain Name System). In addition, an Internet monitoring company said on Sunday that the DNS service of a majority of communications firm Level 3 had been hijacked too.

The government of Turkey, which is involved in a corruption scandal, started clamping down on the Internet on March 21 through blocking access to Twitter. The government declared that Twitter violated privacy laws of the country. On last Thursday, Youtube was blocked for national security reasons. A conversation between Turkey’s foreign minister, intelligence chief, and a senior member of the armed forces concerning militants in neighboring Syria was published.

Both movements were taken just before the nationwide municipal elections held on Sunday. Servers that “masquerade” as Google’s DNS service has have been set up by Turkish ISPs. Several credible reports have been received and confirmed by them with their own research that most Turkish ISPs have intercepted Google’s DNS service.

Internet users, who do not expect to depend on their ISP’s DNS services, can use Google’s Public DNS. And DNS servers translate domain names into IP addresses which can be made into a Web browser. Turkish Internet users sought help from Google’s Public DNS after the government imposed restrictions on the country’s ISPs. On Sunday, Internet monitoring company Renesys said that main Internet provider Level 3’s DNS service was hijacked too.

TurkTelekom, which is Turkish’s national telecom provider, hijacked the DNS servers of both firms with the BGP (Border Gateway Protocol). Sometimes an organization will mistake and broadcast wrong BG information carelessly hijacking the traffic belonging to other networks. However, BGP changes can also be malicious as in the cases of Google and Level 3.

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