An undisclosed "DNS-related issue" late Saturday knocked several Google services offline, prompting widespread speculation that the Web search giant fell victim to the recent wave of DNS cache-poisoning attacks.
The outage lasted for several hours and affected the Google.com home page, Gmail, Google News, Froogle, Google Images, Google Groups and Google Local. The outage also caused service failure on advertisements from Google's AdSense service.
Google Director of Corporate Communications David Krane confirmed the outage but insisted it was not the result of a malicious hack.
"Google's global properties were unavailable for a short period of time earlier today. We've remedied the problem, and access to Google has been restored worldwide," Krane said in a statement released to Ziff Davis Internet News.
On search-related discussion forums and Weblogs, Web surfers reported being redirected to SoGoSearch.com, a third-party search engine not associated with Google Inc. (See screenshot).
But Krane dismissed the suggestion of a malicious attack. "It was most definitely not the result of any kind of hack. It was a DNS-related issue," he said. "We're looking into the SoGoSearch report but do not believe it's related to the issue we experienced earlier today."
The problems come just a day after users reported that the new Google Accelerator application was causing hiccups to Web site logins and breaking Web applications.
The Web Accelerator application, launched as a test on Wednesday, uses a combination of local and server-based caching and preloading of Web pages to more quickly serve Web pages to a user's browser.
By Saturday evening, the beta was closed. Interested new users got the following message: "Thank you for your interest in Google Web Accelerator. We have currently reached our maximum capacity of users and are actively working to increase the number of users we can support."
Last month, security researchers discovered evidence of a DNS cache-poisoning attack that redirected Web surfers to malicious sites. Cache poisoning occurs when incorrect or false DNS records are inserted into a DNS server's cache tables, overwriting a valid-name server record with its own DNS server address.
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Copyright Â© 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in eWEEK.