Google was only there for an hour, but Monday’s disruption served as a mumble reminder of how much the modern existence of online depends on the centralized search engine Colossus.
From Gmail and Google Calendar to YouTube and even Google’s two-factor authentication, Disruptions can temporarily stop online activities for many, including publications Otherwise outages have been reported.
Furthermore, it underscores the secret costs of easy-to-use systems that spread across the web, and how Google can be tax-deductible or distorted in a matter of hours.
“If an Internet giant like Google could suffer such a massive attack – denying millions of users basic internet service access – it just shows that under the surface of the glossy web interface we see, the Internet infrastructure is actually a fragile and weakened balance.” An open source Web 3.0.0 project focuses on decentralization of the Internet
Google down and out
According to a tweet from Google, the company suffered an “authentication system breakdown” that basically rendered various servers useless for about 45 minutes because system users were unable to confirm who they were.
This has affected Europe for the most part and seems to extend well beyond how people can socialize in the event that they are not usually able to access their email. Native applications on Android smartphones, for example, like Google Maps Stop working, And Internet-connected devices Via Google Home Was apparently down.
Tal Bi’ri, co-founder and security researcher Zengo, The cryptocurrency wallet company says that, in theory, a decentralized solution could solve problems that allow users to authenticate their credentials with Google using other services. Such solutions exist; However, they were probably “not involved with Google’s business model and therefore not implemented”, he continued.
The blackout shows how much control and how far-reaching the effects of a single point failure can be in a centralized system. Services and features important to daily life were suddenly gone, users had no idea and had very little control when they could return.
“Google infrastructure is distributed across servers across the continent. But they are interdependent and centrally controlled, “said Takevi. “These have been upgraded centrally. They talk to each other – not just using the same protocol, but through a shared software (centrally) operated by the same employees. “
The limitations of centralization
Google’s disruption has been reported due to internal technical issues, but the news comes from another source. The U.S. government has seen sophisticated cyber attacks year after year, There are allegations that state-directed hackers infiltrated the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments through standard remote updates by SolarWinds that injected malicious code into various systems.
SolarWinds, the developer of software for network management, has hundreds of customers, including Fortune 500 companies and other government agencies. These include the Secret Service, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Federal Reserve, Lockheed Martin and the National Security Agency.
The update allows hackers to access internal emails to various agencies through Microsoft Office 365. It is still unclear what else they have enabled or could access.
In a rare move, U.S. cybersecurity and infrastructure protection Emergency directive 21-01 has been issued, Which called on all federal civilian agencies to immediately disconnect Solarwinds Orion products or review their networks for electrical connection indicators.
These single points of entry, automatic updates controlled by a central actor, and disruptions they can enable are part and parcel of Web 2.0, relying heavily on central actors to maintain systems, control their access, and ensure they run smoothly. By But it has spread power to a few large, centralized companies, such as Google, Internet service providers and others.
Pushing behind power
Although there are some early pushbacks, including Case of disbelief Being brought against Google and Facebook in the US, has been there too Extensive lobbying efforts On behalf of these behemoths to maintain their power in places like the European Union.
When Canadian-British technology blogger and science fiction writer Kari Doctro said, “My personal opinion is that these companies are just old fashioned. Talked to him Earlier this year. “All the features of their growth data or network effects or whatever. It’s just because they bought all their competitors, something that used to be illegal and is now legal.”
Decentralized architecture design hinders this form of centralized control, ensuring that no one can make calls, decisions, or updates (or mistakes) that could affect millions or even billions of people. Queensdesk has reported on its impact on public discourse, e.g. Controversy over the addition of content on social mediaWhich some see as corporate censorship.
In the case of Google, however, the centralized constructs of data and power make these firms seemingly unseen and cast a long shadow over the increasingly critical organs of our lives.
Berry Zengote said they were not “religious” about decentralization; Rather, he believes a Hybrid model, Smartly combining the combination of decentralization visibility and security and simplicity often associated with centralized services is in many cases the best solution for customers.
He is continuing the debate to decide what will happen next.
“The benefits of decentralization are even harder to explain to end users because these benefits of greater stability and visibility are not expressed on a daily basis,” says Biri. “Only in times of failure, such as the experience that Google users have had today, have the qualities of decentralization been highlighted.”