Syria hit by widespread Internet outage

It's seen more than 10 outages in last year; service affected by latest blackout is back

Syria was hit by what appeared to be an Internet outage that swept nearly the entire country, according to Internet monitoring companies.

The outage, which lasted for about seven hours, is being blamed on a cut fiber optic cable, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.

The country's Internet access is now back up and running.

Doug Madory, a senior analyst with New Hampshire-based Renesys Corp., said it's no surprise that Syria lost connectivity. The country is considered a "high risk" for outages.

"In the last year, there have been more than 10 occasions," Madory said. "They have varied in duration. This was probably the longest since May of last year and that time it was down for about eight hours. That's just simply looking at how diverse their connections are to the outside world. Cuba is considered severe as well. It goes through one provider to the outside world. Syria has two connections to the outside world."

According to both Renesys and Massachusetts-based Arbor Networks, Internet access in the war-torn country started to waver on Wednesday and went down earlier today.

Akamai Technologies, Inc., an Internet content delivery network based in Cambridge, Mass., noted that Internet service crashed dramatically in Syria soon after midnight UTC today.

Internet traffic levels dropped from 3.67 Gb/sec down to .784 Gb/sec when the trouble started. It has returned to 3.90 Gb/sec, according to Arbor Networks.

Akamai Technologies noted that Internet service crashed dramatically soon after midnight UTC today.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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Read more: Unprecedented spike in DDoS attacks: Arbor Networks

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