Internet in Egypt offline
Different media are reporting that Internet and other forms of electronic communications are being disrupted in Egypt. Presumably after a government order in response to the protests. Looking at BGP data we can confirm that according to our analysis 88% of the ‘Egyptian Internet’ has fallen of the Internet. In this post I’ll share some observations I made with regards to the reachability of Egyptian networks and providers.
What’s different in this case as compared to other ‘similar’ cases is that all of the major ISP’s seem to be almost completely offline. Whereas in other cases, social media sites such as facebook and twitter were typically blocked. In this case the government seems to be taking a shotgun approach by ordering ISP’s to stop routing all networks.
When looking at the data it’s clear that many Egyptian networks have fallen off the Internet. Let’s start by looking at a quick summary. Yesterday there were 2903 Egyptian networks, originated from 52 ISP’s. Transit was provided via 45 unique isp’s.
Today at 2am UTC, the numbers look quite different, there were only 327 Egyptian networks left on the Internet. These were originated 26 by ISP’s.
So 88% of the Egyptian networks is unreachable!
|Num of prefixes||Num of origin Asn|
Below you’ll find a table with the top 10 providers in Egypt. It shows how many Egyptian networks were announced earlier this week and how many are reachable today.
As you can see in the table below, right now most autonomous systems (ISP’s) are no longer announcing any, or at the very least, significantly less prefixes.
|Prefixes today||Prefixes earlier this week||origin AS||Provider name|
|0||217||24835||RAYA Telecom – Egypt|
|85||83||20928||Noor Data Networks|
Interestingly the only provider that doesn’t seem to be impacted by this is AS20928 (Noor Data Networks).
Below is the list of providers that are still announcing networks (based on routeviews data):
|Network||Name||Number of routes|
|AS20928||Noor Data Networks||83|
|AS24835||RAYA Telecom – Egypt||38|
|AS2561||Egyptian Universities Network (EUN)||14|
When did this start?
By looking at some Egyptian websites and looking at when they became unreachable we are able to determine when the problem started.
At this point egypt.gov.eg is offline. This network, 18.104.22.168/24 was withdrawn at January 27th at 22:28 UTC . Another example is www.ahram.org.eg an Egyptian news paper. This network 22.214.171.124/24, became unreachable at the exact same time, January 27th at 22:28 UTC.
Update (Jan 28 18:36 PM UTC)
At this point only 239 Egyptian networks are reachable, this means that 91% of the Egyptian routes are unreachable. Noor networks remains the only provider that seems to be unaffected by this.
Vodafone has confirmed on their website, that they have been instructed to shutdown services in parts of the country
All mobile operators in Egypt have been instructed to suspend services in selected areas. Under Egyptian legislation the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it. The Egyptian authorities will be clarifying the situation in due course .
Update (January 29, 17:48 UTC)
It’s been reported that Mobile phone services have been restored. I found this confirmation on the Vodafone website
Vodafone restored voice services to our customers in Egypt this morning, as soon as we were able.
We would like to make it clear that the authorities in Egypt have the technical capability to close our network, and if they had done so it would have taken much longer to restore services to our customers.
It has been clear to us that there were no legal or practical options open to Vodafone, or any of the mobile operators in Egypt, but to comply with the demands of the authorities.
Moreover, our other priority is the safety of our employees and any actions we take in Egypt will be judged in light of their continuing wellbeing.
There has been no change in the Internet services situation. As of now Egypt has been cut-off the Internet for 36 hours. In Egypt the work weeks starts tomorrow, so let’s see if the government will bring the services back online perhaps tonight.
Update January 29, 21:00 UTC
I’ve published a list of the Egyptian routes/prefixes that are still being routed. This list of 243 networks can be found here: http://bgpmon.net/egypt-routes-jan29-2011.txt.
This data is extracted from routeviews data (rib.20110129.1800). Note that routed does not necessarily mean that it’s reachable. Format of the list is:
|AS number| Prefix| Prefix description|.
A few examples of routes that are still announced:
- AT-Financial Holding routes
- Bibliothique of Alexandria (http://www.bibalex.org/)
- Central Bank of Egypt Routes
- Egyptian National Scientific & Technical Information Network routes
Update January 31, 23:30 UTC
As of today thirteen more Autonomous systems (ISP’s) have disappeared. This includes the up to now unaffected Noor Data networks. The networks for Noor data network seemed to have disappeared at 2011-01-31 20:54 UTC.
As these ISP’s disappeared so did more routes. Using a routeviews dump of 22:00 January 31st, we now only see 12 origin Autonomous systems and a 134 routes. This means that now only 5% of the Egyptian routes remain reachable.
A list of all remaining routes can be found here: http://www.bgpmon.net/egypt-routes-jan31-2011.txt