Nigeria affected as Google is hit by worst ever internet hijack

Google has been hit by the ‘worst ever’ internet hijack in the company’s history, security experts fear.

Information from Google searches, cloud-hosting services and the company’s bundle of collaboration tools for businesses – known as G Suite – were all affected.

The data of US users was intercepted by servers in Nigeria, China and Russia – including those run by major state-owned telecoms providers.

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Security experts suggested the hack was a ‘wargame experiment’ – meaning it may prelude similar, more widescale attacks from the nations involved in future.

According to Daily Mail, the type of traffic misdirection employed, known as border gateway protocol (BGP) hijacking, can knock essential services offline and facilitate espionage and financial theft.

It can result either from misconfiguration – human error, essentially – or from malicious action.

In two recent cases, such rerouting has affected financial sites.

In April 2017, one affected MasterCard and Visa among other sites. This past April, another hijacking enabled cryptocurrency theft.

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Google is downplaying the incident, saying it does not believe it was malicious.

A Google spokesperson told MailOnline:

‘We’re aware that a portion of internet traffic was affected by incorrect routing of IP addresses, and access to some Google services was impacted.’

‘The root cause of the issue was external to Google and there was no compromise of Google services.’

The firm has yet to confirm the exact nature of the data affected, as well as how many users have been put at risk, with millions potentially in the firing line.

Google service interruptions lasted for nearly one and a half hours and ended about 10:30pm GMT (5:30pm EST), network service companies said.

People took to Twitter to vent their frustrations, with one user writing ‘I have no idea what to do with my life.’

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