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Details of T-Mobile Outage Cause Revealed: No, It Wasn’t a DDoS Attack

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Details of T-Mobile Outage Cause Revealed: No, It Wasn't a DDoS Attack

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There have been some huge recent DDoS attacks: this wasn’t one…

A widespread T-Mobile outage across the carrier’s US network on Monday triggered a frenzied firestorm of conspiracy theories, amid unverified and inaccurate claims that it had fallen victim to a huge Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on service providers across the United States.

Tens of millions of T-Mobiles wireless customers had their services disrupted for up to eight hours as the company tried to identify the problem and restore its voice and text services (it insists data services continued to work).

With an “anon” Twitter account pushing out a map to millions of followers from security firm Arbor Networks purportedly showing a large DDoS attack “on the US”, hysteria ran riot and “DDoS” trended on Twitter.

The claim was rapidly picked up by no shortage of blue tick-verified, high-profile users, including across the gaming community; even senators waded in. A sample, widely shared Tweet: “This DDoS attack is serious. It has taken down Instagram, Facebook, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Twitch…. 2020 is something else.”

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince was among those trying to talk reason: “Arbor Networks attack map [..] looks terrifying today! Thing is, it always looks terrifying. Its a marketing gimmick put up to sell DDoS mitigation services.

T-Mobile Outage Cause: A Leased Fiber Circuit Failure

Here’s what actually happened: afiber circuit failed.

Under pressure to provide a rapid root cause analysis,T-Mobile’s President of Technology, Neville Ray revealed the truth late on Tuesday: “The trigger event is known to be a leased fiber circuit failure from a third party provider in the Southeast. This is something that happens on every mobile network, so weve worked with our vendors to build redundancy and resiliency to make sure that these types of circuit failures dont affect customers.

“This redundancy failed us and resulted in an overload situation that was then compounded by other factors. This overload resulted in an IP traffic storm that spread from the Southeast to create significant capacity issues across the IMS (IP multimedia Subsystem) core network that supports VoLTE calls.

He added: “We have worked with our IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) and IP vendors to add permanent additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again and were continuing to work on determining the cause of the initial overload failure.So, I want to personally apologize for any inconvenience that we created yesterday and thank you for your patience as we worked through the situation toward resolution.”

The outage comes at an unfortunate time for T-Mobile — and has triggered an investigation by the FCC: it comes less than 12 weeks after T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. merged to create a colossus with approximately 140 million customers and revenues of over $70 billion; the company is in the spotlight.

The combined entity is hoping to aggressively build out its 5G infrastructure (T-Mobile plans $40 billion in spending over the next three years), and the last thing executives will have wanted is an FCC investigation and millions of angry customers; reacting promptly to squash the DDoS rumours was clearly the right call, however painful it was to admit the failure of failover mechanisms,

DDoS attacks, meanwhile (in which servers are overloaded with malicious traffic) do howeverappear to be on the rise again, after dropping in scale in recent years. Last week we reported on an (unsuccessful) record 2.3 Tbps DDoS attack on AWS. Security firm Akamai this week told Computer Business Review it had blocked the largest DDoS attack it had seen on an ISP: a 1.44 Tbps attack launched using nine different forms of DDoS attack vectors.

We’ll be bringing you more details on that shortly.

See also: Record DDoS Attack Hits AWS: 2.3 Tbps Assault Lasted Days

 



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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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