Compromised routers cause Deutsche Telekom broadband outage

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Grassetto)

Around 900,000 of Deutsche Telekom's broadband customers were left unable to access the internet since yesterday afternoon, with the telecommunications giant refusing to rule out the possibility of an external attack being the culprit.

The number of affected customers has now decreased significantly, the operator says, while investigations continue on why it occurred in the first place. Deutsche Telekom claims its network was unaffected and fully operational, leading experts to believe a batch of customers' routers were compromised. 

“Based on the error pattern, we cannot exclude the possibility that the routers have been targeted by external parties with the result that they can no longer register on the network,” the company said in a statement. "The fact that the error pattern occurs more in metropolitan areas is due to population distribution, which means it is purely a statistical conclusion.” 

Deutsche Telekom says it has been working alongside router manufacturers through the night to find the problem and issue a solution for those affected. With a significant number of users now back online, it would appear progress has been made. 

"In case of problems, we still recommend disconnecting your router from the network, even if this did not necessarily have the desired effect yesterday.” 

Those customers still affected – who also have a mobile contract with Deutsche Telekom – have been provided with a 'Day-Flat' pass to use the company's mobile broadband network to get online in the meantime. Customers without a mobile package with the company have been advised to go into a Deutsche Telekom store for assistance. 

Update: A software update has been provided to all affected customers to fix the router problem. The software rollout already started and we can see the success of this measure. Customers should unplug their router for 30 seconds. Afterward, when reactivating the router, the new software will be installed automatically from the servers. Alternatively, the software update is available for download here and can be installed manually. 

What are your thoughts on the broadband outage? Let us know in the comments.

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