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08 November 2011, 16:55

Router problem disrupts Level 3 network in North America and Europe

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On Monday, several US and UK ISPs, including Time Warner Cable, Research in Motion, Eclipse Internet, Easynet and Merula, reported a range of errors and problems on the Level 3 backbone. Level 3 has now confirmed the reports. The cause of the problems appears to have been a bug in Juniper's Junos router operating system affecting the border gateway protocol (BGP).

US ISP Phyber Communications, for example, has told various US media organisations that other networks using Juniper routers were also affected by the failure, with most affected devices generating a memory dump and then restarting. Juniper manager Mark Bauhaus confirmed that the company had been made aware of the BGP error in edge routers on Monday morning. He stated that the bug had affected only a small number of Juniper customers and that the company already had a patch for the problem which was awaiting distribution to affected routers.

Bauhaus has yet to provide a detailed description of the bug, but a report on pastebin describes a bug in the modular port concentrators (MPCs) running on MX series Juniper routers. It states that specific BGP actions, such as updating the router, can crash the router.


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