Belkin routers bug breaks users internet connectivity2014-10-08 09:26 by Philip
Tags: Belkin, router
On Tuesday morning, owners of Belkin routers around the world experienced problems with Internet connectivity. Due to what appears to be either a DNS bug, or firmware issue, several models of the brand were unable to connect to the Internet. Among the affected models were: F9K1102, F9K1105, F9K1113, F9K1102, F9K1105 and F9K1116. According to Belkin, the problems started midnight on October 7.
"We are aware of reports of an interruption to internet service when using some Belkin routers with several internet service providers," the company wrote in its forum. "Our team is diligently working to root cause the issue. Our call centers are also experiencing a higher than normal call rate so hold times are longer than normal. Our call centers have no solution to this problem at this time."
Later, in the afternoon the router manufacturer announced that it has fixed the issue that prevented routers from connecting to the Internet:
"We have confirmed that the internet connectivity issue is now resolved. If your service has not yet been restored, please unplug your router and plug it back in after waiting 1 minute. Wait 5 more minutes and the router should reconnect. If you have any further issues, please contact our support at (800) 223-5546. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience to our customers. We are taking a number of actions to eliminate this sort of incident from reoccurring."
As a workaround, users have been able to get back online by using public DNS servers (18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124 are Google's public DNS servers, for example). Seems that Belkin routers were designed to randomly ping hartbeat.belkin.com. When that host stopped responding to ping for some users, it brought down some services on the routers, and they stopped forwarding requests. Using external resolvers seemed to temporarily fix the issue. If you're still having problems, simply rebooting the router and waiting a couple of minutes should remedy the situation. Still, seems like poor design if every users' internet connectivity depends on a single host being reachable.. but that's just my opinion, I could be wrong ;)
Belkin outage report: http://belkininternationalinc.statuspage.io/