Comcast Hit by Regional Net Outage
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) suffered a regional Internet outage Sunday night that left customers in Boston; Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore without service for roughly three hours.
The MSO restored the outage, believed to be caused by a domain name system (DNS)-related server problem, by late Sunday, the eve of "Cyber Monday," when millions of consumers are expected to take to the Web to buy holiday gifts.
Comcast has yet to publicly identify the root cause, but acknowledged that it was investigating so it can avoid any similar outages.
Comcast was not immediately available for comment on the outage Monday morning, but "ComcastWill" Tweeted that engineers were still working to resolve the issue.
In October, Comcast began to migrate customers to DNS servers outfitted with Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), a component of the MSO's "Constant Guard" bot detection and notification service. (See Comcast Goes Wide With PC Security Bot.)
Comcast is using DNSSEC to verify that the "signatures" of domain names that are signed into Comcast's DNS servers are valid. The MSO has added that extra layer of security to ensure that customers aren't automatically routed to domains that have been tampered with by hackers.
Comcast, which started the migration in parts of its Virginia network, expects to complete it by the early part of 2011.
But outages like Sunday's don't bode well for Comcast's effort. Several users in the affected areas reported that they were able to restore access by switching to DNS servers from OpenDNS.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable