bbc.co.uk Navigation

Darren Waters

YouTube goes down

  • Darren Waters
  • 24 Feb 08, 19:54 GMT

A few friends have alerted me to a possible outage at YouTube. I certainly can't get on to the service.

According to some, YouTube has been down for more than an hour....

I'll be keeping an eye on it from my Twitter account. Follow me here.

I've been using Tweetscan to look for people's comments about YouTube on Twitter. A very cool web app. Look here.

Lots of people on Twitter are linking Pakistan's decision to block YouTube with the current - seemingly global - outage. I'd be surprised if there was a link as the net doesn't work that way...

UPDATE: I've contacted a Google PR in London who says the service is working for him but is checking on the issue. There are mixed reports - some are saying it is back, others not.

UPDATE TWO: David Ulevitch of OpenDNS believes that "Pakistan Telecom has decided to (accidentally probably) hijack their IP address space".

UPDATE THREE: I'm just writing a news story on this. Looks like Pakistan's attempts to hijack the YouTube IP addresses internally led to ISPs blocking the site globally.

UPDATE FOUR: There will definitely be some fall out from this. It would seem that all it takes to hijack a website globally is for a telecoms firm to instruct its ISPs that they now run a domain, and for one of those ISPs to announce that globally. So that other ISPs follow suit in a piggyback chain of confusion.

As one net engineer told me:


It is exactly like the "game of telephone" that kids play. For example, Pakistan Telecom says "I am responsible for 1.2.3.4 (some IP address)" and then they tell PCCW. PCCW tells Verizon Business and NTT and others. NTT tells us and so when my customers ask "Where is Youtube, we're just answering based on what we've heard..." But all we know is that we heard it from NTT who heard it from PCCW who heard it from Pakistan Telecom. If Pakistan Telecom was lying (or made a mistake), we'd have no way to verify it.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 08:51 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • jane costeel wrote:

Youtube has been down for at least 40 minutes (my isp is located in Pennsylvania in the U.S.)

  • 2.
  • At 08:53 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Sharon wrote:

1435 hrs
Central Standard Time
24 Feb 2008
Crystal Lake, IL

Yes it seems to be down....unable to access for approximately past 45 minutes -- as long as I've been trying today...
:(

  • 3.
  • At 08:54 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Charlotte Miller wrote:

HI .. Ye Its Down On Mine =[ I Cant Listen To Music Now =[ .. Do Any One Know Why Its Down ?

Here on Canada's west coast, YouTube has been inaccessible for the past couple of hours at least.

There's all sorts of rumours - any actual hard news on what's happening?

  • 5.
  • At 08:56 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Chris B wrote:

Page Not Loading for me here over in London UK..

Indeed You Tube does seem to be down tonight (Sunday) and we as fans here at WorldTV do hope its back up soon!

  • 7.
  • At 08:58 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Chris B wrote:

Page Not Loading for me here over in London UK..

  • 8.
  • At 09:00 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

I can confirm that YouTube.com has been down for close to hour and a half from Western Canada.

I don't know if it is related, But a couple of forums I frequent are also unreachable.
I think one of the forums is hosted in California.

  • 9.
  • At 09:01 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • sulz wrote:

i seem to have the same problem.
i cant access it either, iv been trying a couple of times, but i get the same response!

  • 10.
  • At 09:02 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • jj wrote:

tis not

  • 11.
  • At 09:03 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Toby Kieth wrote:

Youtube is down in Nevada USA. Time now is 12:50 PM

  • 12.
  • At 09:03 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • boris wrote:

I am in San Francisco. Youtube down here.

  • 13.
  • At 09:04 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Ada wrote:

Yup,

it's down here in Massachusetts USA.

Youtube is down because Pakistan Telecom is poisoning the route, and distributing it to the world. It'll be interesting how the network admins around the world deal with this. Pakistan may end up being blackholed.

  • 15.
  • At 09:04 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Not Provided wrote:

Pakistan Telecom are announcing the /24 address block that contains YouTube's servers. This means that all traffic for YouTube is being sent to Pakistan Telecom, who are then just dropping the traffic. This sort of thing is supposed to be prevented by ISPs filtering the routes they receive from their customers however PCCW (Pakistan Telecom's upstream) are blindly accepting the duff route and passing it on to other ISPs. Some providers are starting to filter out the bad announcement, but it'll probably be another few hours until the problem is completely resolved.

This happens on a reasonably regular basis, but not often to a site as high profile as YouTube. Often it's done by spam operations wanting to hijack networks belonging to well known (and whitelisted) email providers.

  • 16.
  • At 09:06 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Ben Mitchell wrote:

It is down for me here in the US (Minneapolis, MN).

  • 17.
  • At 09:08 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Jeff White wrote:

A Ziff Davis net blog says the outage has to do with Pakistan's ban:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/threatchaos/?p=547

  • 18.
  • At 09:09 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Den wrote:

YouTube is definately down for me... 12:50 PM Pacific time...

  • 19.
  • At 09:10 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • boris wrote:

I am in San Francisco. Youtube down here.

  • 20.
  • At 09:10 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • David wrote:

I've been trying in Australia for a while now, no luck. But ssms to be working now. Bummer about Pakistan being blocked. Governments have to realise that a lot of people enjoy this kind of thing and if you're offended by something then don't view it. How come it's always the complainers that get their way.

  • 21.
  • At 09:11 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • MMMM wrote:

It's still down, for me... UK

  • 22.
  • At 09:13 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • adil wrote:

im trying to open youtube but its not working is it down in UK

  • 23.
  • At 09:13 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • jg wrote:

Also out for me - Southern California, 12:39 pst. Been down for at least an hour.

Still down and counting. It's an outage over a couple of hours now. Although I'm sure once it's back up the reason(s), should be refreshingly interesting.

  • 25.
  • At 09:15 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • yoyo wrote:

yup down for me in california

  • 26.
  • At 09:15 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • luis quispe wrote:

It's like two hours since i've been trying to get conected to You Tube. Nothing happens. i'm still there

  • 27.
  • At 09:18 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • BS wrote:

I think it's because Pakistan ave ordered all internet service providers to block youtube because it contains blasphemous comments.

  • 28.
  • At 09:23 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Bo wrote:

I've been watching the youtube site over here in the states, where it seems to be down as well. This is as of 1300 Pacific Standard Time - 080224

  • 29.
  • At 09:24 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Stephen wrote:

Yes, Youtube is down for me as well, as of 20.48 UK time. I am a UK broadband user.

  • 30.
  • At 09:24 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Colin wrote:

Sunday evening 2100, UK. Haven't been able to find it for around 36 hours. Neither have a couple of local friends. Weird. . . ..

  • 31.
  • At 09:25 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • alan wrote:

Down on Long Island for quite a while as well.

Thought it was my computer. Thanks for the heads up.

Go Wigan!

  • 32.
  • At 09:26 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • boris wrote:

I am in San Francisco. Youtube down here.

  • 33.
  • At 09:28 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • karen wrote:

definitely working here so i'm not sure what's going on

i'm near newcastle so looks like it's not everywhere!

  • 34.
  • At 09:32 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • James wrote:

Ah, I am glad to have stumbled across this on google news. Yes, i have been unable to access youtube for the past hour and a half. It displayed the same error message as yours.

  • 35.
  • At 09:32 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • nitij wrote:

Youtube is really slow right now

  • 36.
  • At 09:45 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Clin wrote:

Sunday evening 2100, UK. Haven't been able to find it for around 36 hours. Neither have a couple of local friends. Weird. . . ..

  • 37.
  • At 09:51 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Anna-Maria wrote:

It's working just fine for me - but I am in the US.

  • 38.
  • At 10:12 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Cameron wrote:

US. Was down, but is back up now.

  • 39.
  • At 10:17 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Kim wrote:

For some reason, I haven't been able to get onto youtube since mid-evening on Friday... ie about 48 hours ago for anyone who isn't UK... anyone else been having problems for that long cos I'm starting to feel like my computer hates me... and my housemate reckons he hasn't been able to get on for about 36 hours...

  • 40.
  • At 10:23 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Douglas Sewell wrote:

I also thought the Pakistan episode had affected youtube as it was a no go on my machine.
However http://uk.youtube.com/ seems to have brought it back on line.

Regards

Doug

  • 41.
  • At 10:54 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Jonathan wrote:

If it's still down for you, and you can access your hosts file, putting the line
208.65.153.238 www.youtube.com
will bring youtube back to life.
Confirmed: It was Pakistan Telecom poisoning the DNS - this has the makings of a major incident.

  • 42.
  • At 11:01 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Jonathan wrote:

If it's still down for you, and you can access your hosts file, putting the line
208.65.153.238 www.youtube.com
will bring youtube back to life.
Confirmed: It was Pakistan Telecom poisoning the DNS - this has the makings of a major incident.

  • 43.
  • At 11:01 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • Mark Keaney wrote:

I live in the UK and its working fine for me maybe it’s just the yanks that are affected.

  • 44.
  • At 11:21 PM on 24 Feb 2008,
  • David Duncan wrote:

Update from Virginia 6 pm EST. Youtube is back up after being down for a couple of hours. "Google Video" however is down (and has been for a couple of hours). (???)

"if Pakistan Telecom was lying (or made a mistake), we'd have no way to verify it."

There is a way to verify it and PCCW , as the provider of services to pakistan telecom should have employed this/.

PCCW should have checked that its customer (Pakistan Telecom) was allowed to tell others about that address, this is something that competent providers do in this day and age, it seems PCCW is not one of them.

"if Pakistan Telecom was lying (or made a mistake), we'd have no way to verify it."

There is a way to verify it and PCCW , as the provider of services to pakistan telecom should have employed this/.

PCCW should have checked that its customer (Pakistan Telecom) was allowed to tell others about that address, this is something that competent providers do in this day and age, it seems PCCW is not one of them.

Excellent research, Darren! I'll tell Leo Laporte. He can tell the Mersenne world. (I can only tell 1,421 as of this moment at www.twitter.com/acomputerpro )

  • 48.
  • At 12:59 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Baris Tarim wrote:

Wow, interesting how it all worked out.

It was down in Northern France for two hours I think late Sunday night.

  • 49.
  • At 01:40 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Dan wrote:

YouTube appear to have changed the DNS entry for www.youtube.com so it now points to IP's within the following range 208.65.153.0/24

Interestingly the reverse DNS on these IP's point to youtube.com.hk which would would usually be used by YouTube users in Southeast Asia.

The original IP range that YouTube were using is still unroutable from the UK and this can be confirmed by using BT's looking glass tools here :

http://lg.bt.net/

  • 50.
  • At 02:18 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • jc wrote:

No matter how entertaining this site is and how much we love it, the real question seems not to have anything to do with YouTube, but with whether Pakistan could do the same thing with Apple, or Microsoft, or MIT. I presume that is the kind of "fallout" we can expect?

...and we're back - in England, at least.

LOL, it's kinda funny. Here in Pakistan the wesite was blocked on Saturday night but returned at arround 11:00 pm (local time) Sunday. Worked well for a few hours untill about 2:30 am Monday (again local time) it slowed down like a snail (frustrating). But now it's again blocked, and it appears it is going to be that way for the foreseable future.

  • 53.
  • At 07:24 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • David Thomas wrote:

I think just because of this blunder, all ISP's should pull the plug on Pakistan's outbound connections for a couple of hours, see how they like it.

  • 54.
  • At 08:04 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Bill Daglish wrote:

I was unable to access YouTube since Friday, only last night (sunday) did i regain access

  • 55.
  • At 09:24 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • stuart wrote:

Although it can cause occasional problems, this sort of thing has no real long term impacts - ISPs that give out unreliable routing information will just get ignored by other major routers in the end, so there is no risk of bad faith ISPs poisoning the routing tables. The best they could do is short outages like this (of course less noticeable sites could be impacted for longer duration before being fixed).

  • 56.
  • At 09:31 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Kevin Haddow wrote:

In an unrelated issue.

Youtube (and other sites) have been down for the last couple of days for thousands of AOL users here in the UK. AOL are migrating their customers over to the CW network and this is causing major problems with inaccessible websites. Despite numerous complaints it has taken AOL 2 days to even acknowledge their is a problem. The CW network seems to be a joke here in the UK and, judging by what customers are saying in various forums AOL could lose many customers because of this.

  • 57.
  • At 10:23 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • James wrote:

and why does this affect anyone?

YouTube, Facebook etc. could go down for eternity and it wouldn't affect those who actually have a life!

SO IMAGINE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THIS OCCURED TO THE INTERNET ADDRESSES FOR A FEW GLOBAL BANKS AND INTERNET ADDRESSES GOT CHANGED BY INDIVIDUALS WITH MALICIOUS INTENT?....

This whole episode beggars belief and there surely must be some serious fallout and security concerns if the "engineer" from a single ISP can cause an Internet address to be locked out.

THERE SHOULD BE MORE SECURITY AROUND GLOBAL DNS PUT IN-PLACE IMMEDIATELY AND ANY CHANGES SHOULD BE TOTALLY LOCKED-DOWN....

  • 59.
  • At 11:19 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • wert wrote:

im from pakistan and YouTube.Com is still block here :wow:

  • 60.
  • At 11:40 AM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Glenn Douglas wrote:

I'm in Budapest, Hungary, You Tube was down for around 2 hours last night ( Sunday ). Came up at 9pm.

  • 61.
  • At 12:03 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Lynz wrote:

This whole thing has left me with the realization that the internet or various websites can be shut down at will by governments etc. The internet is the only way we can get freedom of speech. The news tells us what they want us to hear, and the papers write want they want us to read. The internet is the only place i can watch and read the truth of what is going on in the world, and what has gone on in the past. The shutdown of a massively popular and global website like Youtube is just a warning to me that they can take away our freedom for truth with the touch of a button. I will be paying close attention to any fall out regarding this.

  • 62.
  • At 12:20 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Gerry wrote:

I now realise the awful downside of living in a Western liberal democracy. Right now, with the rage and indignation I feel growing ever stronger - to think that my god given right of 24hr access to clips of surfing squirrals etc has been blocked by pakistan. It makes it much harder to contain my rage when I think that I cant join the vast throng of webusers assembling in front of the Pakistan Embassasy and witness the circus like spectacle of some effigy burning and perhaps the vicarious thrill of some of the more exhuberant protesteors (those Apple mac people) calling for the ritual slaughter of someone in the IT department.

  • 63.
  • At 12:25 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

It sounds more like a slowly moving information avenue rather than the information super highway. Pathetic. These countries need to get over theirselves. The one tool that could drag them into the 21st Century yet they still refuse it. What a joke.

The real irony is that youtube is there for good intentions, yet we have sites that condone terrorism and wasabi islam in the UK yet we take no steps to ban these sites. The whole thing is back to front. They shouldn't be insulted, we should.

  • 64.
  • At 12:55 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • david spencer wrote:

Youtube has been working for me and I'm in the UK. Not noticed any problems at all over the past day or so and I've been using it allot.

  • 65.
  • At 01:28 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

Presumably YouTube will be suing Pakistan for loss of revenue? (assuming they lost some of course).

  • 66.
  • At 01:44 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Arch wrote:

Re Comment No. 57

"57. At 10:23 AM on 25 Feb 2008, James wrote:
and why does this affect anyone?

YouTube, Facebook etc. could go down for eternity and it wouldn't affect those who actually have a life!"

And here we have someone who is incapable of seeing the bigger picture!

  • 67.
  • At 02:09 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Cynthia wrote:

The thought strikes, if Pakistan has the ability of pulling the plug on Youtube, I would like to ask the question, why cannot there be a concerted effort by ALL countries to pull the plug and close down the porno/paedolphilia sites wherever they are?

  • 68.
  • At 03:09 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Josh Plimmer wrote:

I recall Youtube being down for atleast 2 hours, last night.

I was set A level English work, which involved 8sing the site, and therefore I was not able to complete it.

  • 69.
  • At 03:09 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Not Provided wrote:

Mike Smith:
This problem was not related to DNS. DNS continued to return the correct IP addresses for YouTube, but Pakistan Telecom had effectively hijacked those IP addresses.

The industry is well aware of this problem, and possible solutions are regularly discussed. At present we rely on providers filtering the route announcements they receive from their customers. In this case PCCW were not filtering their customer, Pakistan Telecom, correctly and accepted the bad YouTube route. Once one large network has accepted a bad route it readily spreads to everyone else.

This is really sad state of DNS management, this was accident, now what will happen if one ore more hackers hack such ISP and broadcast wrong routing information about any major defence or bank or anyother site?? certainly checks should be intorduced.

  • 71.
  • At 03:23 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Bill wrote:

#61 Lynz is totally correct.

The internet is about the only viable venue for freedom of speech left to us. One of those "inalienable human rights." Truth is here as well as lies, but at least we have the option to wade through it all and make our own decisions.
There were many Low profile sites taken down after 911, some with good information that can no longer be found. Who made those decisions for us?

The internet needs to be refashioned technologically so as to remain out of government control. A very big job now, but with the propensity of all governments to want to control it for their own benefit, a necessary one.

  • 72.
  • At 07:47 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Mark Tom wrote:

It seem the net can be high jacked.

  • 73.
  • At 09:17 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Craig wrote:

Youtube here in UK has been down majority of the time since about thursday last week. comes up now and again. Duno whether its just my ISP

  • 74.
  • At 08:06 AM on 26 Feb 2008,
  • APAKI wrote:

youtube is down here in pakistan till now till now its 26th feb

This post is closed to new comments.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC.co.uk