back to article German net crippled by top level glitch

Vast portions of the German internet were unavailable for more than an hour on Wednesday, after a snafu with the country's top level .de domain. According to DENIC, the German net authority, 13.6 million domains use .de. Some reports indicate that all of them were affected, though others say a smaller number experienced …


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  1. John Robson Silver badge


    Surely the smtp server will have failed to resolve DNS.

    They'll either return the email as undeliverable, or retry...

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Sounds like human error of some kind.

    But wouldn't such a critical process be automated?

    Is loading a blank zonefile a recognised procedure to do anything?

    Seems a bit draconian.

  3. TrixyB

    Das ist mein bad!

    Have they tried das reboot!? (sorry, couldn't help it!)

    Not sent from an iphone

    1. Homard

      Das Reboot ?

      Sadly that sank at the end of the film.

      Perhaps reboot central (m$) will sink towards the end of the film (hopefully).

      What this article shows is the importance of nameservers. I'm really surprised that the bad guys are not screwing the nameservers that much. Perhaps they are and the good guys are keeping them at bay ? Thanks are due if this is happening. Bet the core nameservers aren't m$.

      Eye opener for everyone regardless.

  4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    Sorry to be pedantic, but ze German internet wasn't 'actually' unavailable was it? it was 'effectively' unavailable.

    Unless I read it wrong, wasn't it 'just' the DNS resolution that was fubarred?

    Reminds me of the time a colleague deleted 1/2 the zone file and saved it off.

    The bottom half..all of it.

    Vi, awkward, powerful, dangerous?

    You lurk on here ever Andrew? :D

  5. jtaylor

    Not hard to do

    I assume DENIC uses the BIND nameserver software. If so, this is an easy error to make. I'm not excusing DENIC, just observing that the scale of such a problem is often far out of proportion to the cause.

    BIND parses a zone file as it loads it, and ceases loading (that zone) after it encounters an error. This could be a syntax error or an invalid use of a record. "Invalid records" are not always obvious: it's easy to accidentally create a host entry within a zone that was already delegated out.

    Unless their update process (presumably either Perl scripts or a product like Men and Mice) correctly validates the entire zone *using the same criteria that BIND is configured to use*, errors can slip through.

    I used to work at a large Internet site, and have pushed out more than my share of broken DNS zones. Good tools[0] help immensely, and a good architecture[1] insulates certain problems from reaching the Internet. None of those achieve perfection, though.

    The only way to reliably catch this sort of problem is to carefully test all changes in a staging environment first. In the end, it's a balancing act between the time required to perform all due diligence and the quick turnarounds (and in this case high volume) demanded for DNS changes.

    [0] The Men and Mice tools revolutionized how we managed DNS.

    [1] For instance, push changes to a hidden master and let that master propagate to your main (slave) nameservers. Monitor the bejeezus out of the content on that hidden master. Run scripts that parse the named error log and immediately alert if there's a potential problem. Et cetera.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    "verkrumpen" might be a word that Google Translate suggests, but it will not be recognized by a human being of German tongue.

    Please check

    1. Not That Andrew

      You exhibit a lack of sense of humour and knowledge of the Jargon File.

      Obviously someone got distracted by the blinkenlights and did some gefingerenpoken they shouldn't have.

  7. Japhy Ryder


    Are you suggesting that .de is normally f*cked up?

  8. Mips
    Jobs Horns

    ..domain glitch hit all German websites beginning with the letters "a" through "o."

    Yeh! But they all start www don't they?

  9. nsld
    Paris Hilton

    Its happened, run

    "a human being of German tongue"

    Ze german branch of Monsanto has clearly been busy if we have an entire human made from a germans tongue !

    Paris, partial to a bit of tongue so I hear

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ok, of German language. Still "verkrumpen" is an invention of TheReg and nobody else understands its meaning.

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      Assuming that you are German yourself

      I don't think you're doing your fellow countrymen any favours in terms of their rumoured sense of humour, or lack thereof...

      I like that you didn't pick up on the fact that 'verkrumpen' was a comedy nelogism, whilst letting 'intertuben' whizz right past you...

  11. Alain Moran
    Thumb Up

    Today is a very special day

    For today we witness the creation of a brand new word 'verkrumpen' - a technical term to describe a knackered knetwork ... we've all used them at one time or another (often accompanied by a liberal sprinkling of lotus notes & IE6), and now we have a word to describe them - WIN!

    1. Colin Miller


      if you're Russian..

  12. Velv Silver badge

    German Efficiency.....

    being so good, with failure not an option, will their be another "suicide" reported tomorrow

  13. Peter Hood


    Ööööh, I süppösë it dëpënds ön wëssër yöü wäntönly ümläüt or nöt. Zis pröövës wëssër yöü ärë än össi ödër ëiner wëssi.

    I warned them about the problems of reintegration, but no, they would not listen to me. I'm off to Schweden now.

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    The memo might read

    The failure of connectivity to the internet is unacceptable.

    Those responsible will be identified and dealt with in the usual manner.

    Arrangements for their replacement will follow shortly.

    That is all.

    The Management.


    @ Das ist mein bad!

    Jon Postel - what's your current RPM???

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Crumpling ?

    Maybe that was the start of this word creation ? Yes, Germans aren't that funny, but being funny requires at least a minumum amount of comprehension, I assume. "Intertuben" I can somehow understand, being the German version of "Intertubes", I guess :-)

    Now what about the "Interlubes" and girly DNS admins fixing a pipe ?

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