Facebook Traffic Takes Strange Detour Through China

Facebooks users’ updates may have traveled through China earlier this week. From Forbes:

Cybersecurity researcher Barrett Lyon, who has focused on mapping the Internet and its paths, wrote on his blog Tuesday that traffic to on AT&T’s network Tuesday morning traveled through Chinanet, then on to the Korean ISP SK Broadband before traversing the Pacific Ocean back to . “This means that anything you looked at via without encryption was exposed to anyone operating Chinanet, which has a very suspect modus operandi,” Lyon writes.

Lyon blames an error related to AT&T’s Border Gateway Protocol systems, which control how data flows between broadband providers. And it wouldn’t be the first time. In November of last year, a fraction of the entire Internet flowed through China’s networks, according to researchers tracking the issue from the security firm McAfee. Though the hijack was initially thought to have affected a massive 15% of the Internet’s traffic, later estimates by other researchers revised it down to .015%–still a significant amount of data flowing through a country known to throttle the Internet, block services and collect large amounts of data for surveillance.

To encrypt your Facebook account, go to Account Settings –> Account Security and check the box for Secure Browsing.

March 24, 2011 12:23 PM
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