Iranian Porn Filter Breaks The Internet For Innocent Sex Watchers From Russia To Hong Kong

A censor is haunting Asia — the censor of porn.

Photo: AP

According to The Verge, overzealous Iranian officials accidentally blocked 256 porn sites across the continent last week by abusing a core internet protocol known as BGP.

On Thursday, those pages started coming up blank for customers of major ISPs in Russia, India, Hong Kong and Indonesia, the result of bad networking routes originating in Iran. Rather than simply blocking domestic ISPs from accessing the domains, Iran began announcing fake routes to them via BGP — which soon spread to neighbouring countries.

A little over a day later, networks began blocking the bad routes, The Verge reports. The incident, however, highlights a core vulnerability of an internet based heavily on mutual trust.

As BGP is effectively managed by the honour system (any network can announce routes), it is particularly susceptible to misuse. In 2014, for example, Turkish ISPs used false BGP routes to pose as the free DNS services citizens were using to access censored social media sites — just days before a national election.

[The Verge via Engadget]

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Comments

    According to The Verge, overzealous Iranian officials accidentally blocked 256 porn sites across the continent last week by abusing a core internet protocol known as BGP.

    Not again! When will people learn that routing information is, unless otherwise indicated, distributed?

    The reason the Iranians gave fake routes to porn sites was to determine who was using them where blocking would have allowed porn watchers to go undiscerned.

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