25 Oct

Starhub outage

SINGAPORE — StarHub has yet to determine the root cause of the disruptions faced by its customers on Saturday (Oct 22) and again on Monday, but said there were similarities between the two incidents.

The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) also said the possibility of a cyberattack cannot be ruled out. In a joint statement, the CSA and IMDA said: “We have been paying close attention to developments as it happened on the heel of Friday’s attack against the US-based Domain Name System service provider, Dyn. We cannot rule out the possibility that this was a DDOS attack. What is important now is for StarHub to determine the root cause of the problem and prevent a recurrence.”

A  distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack typically occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth of a targeted system.

StarHub said in a separate statement on Tuesday that the disruption on Monday night was due to a spike in data traffic to their Domain Name Servers (DNS), and as such affected “some of our home broadband customers”. It added that the service was fully restored at about 11.25pm the same day.

“There was no impact on mobile, enterprise and home voice services, and the security of our customers’ information was not compromised,” StarHub said.

The IMDA is working with StarHub to investigate the matter, and strengthen its infrastructure and processes.

Other telcos have been advised to step up their defences in case there are similar disruptions to their systems. The CSA is also “studying and addressing the risks of DDoS attacks on our communications systems, as well as the measures to mitigate the impact of such attacks if they happen. CSA will also reach out to educate the public and businesses on the need to properly secure their systems”, the statement added.

Frustrated StarHub fibre broadband users were unable to connect to the Internet on Monday night, the second such disruption in three days.

From about 10pm on Monday, users had posted on StarHub’s Facebook page complaining of the service disruption. According to users, areas affected included Toa Payoh, Ghim Moh and Tanah Merah.

StarHub said on Facebook at 10.40pm that that it was aware that “some broadband customers” have been facing difficulties. “We are looking into this right now, and will post updates here as soon as we can,” the telco added. StarHub later updated that a network equipment issue had affected residential broadband service since about 10pm on Monday. The issue was rectified at 11.20pm, and the telco was investigating the root cause of the incident.

Facebook user Stephen Lam wrote: “Thanks for acknowledg(ing) that you are aware of the issue. Now please get it fix at the soonest, while I understand technical issue could be unpredictable but it is very annoying to experience disruption twice in 72 hours.”

According to figures on downdetector.sg, which offers a realtime overview of status information and outages for digital services, the number of outage reports peaked at more than 3,400 at close to 11pm on Monday.

On Saturday, StarHub broadband users were plagued by similar issues. The outage was rectified the next day at 2am. StarHub said on Facebook that the outage was due to “a network equipment issue”.

Article first sighted on Today.

19 Oct

Singtel mobile disruption

Many Singtel mobile users found themselves unable to make calls or access the Internet last night.

Customers took to Singtel’s Facebook page to complain about service disruptions in areas such as Jurong, Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Woodlands, Sengkang and Potong Pasir.

Singtel said in an update on its Facebook page at about 11.30pm: “We are experiencing some mobile network issues. Our engineers are investigating and we will provide updates as more information comes in. Thank you for your patience.”

At least 200 posts complaining about the lack of calling, text messaging and 4G data services were made since about 10pm.

In a post, user Jess Woo said she had tried to restart her phone multiple times in the last hour. “Till now no response or official updates from Singtel on their page”, she added at the time, before Singtel’s post.

UPDATE on 20-10-18

A power-related issue was behind a disruption to Singtel’s mobile services that affected many users islandwide for more than three hours from around 10pm on Thursday.

The Straits Times understands that it was an internal power issue.

Apologising for the service disruption, the telco said in an update on Facebook at 1.20am yesterday that it detected issues with mobile voice and data services on its 3G and 4G network at 10.11pm.

“Initial investigations indicate that this was due to a power-related issue. Affected services have been progressively restored from 11.50pm and we will continue to monitor the network closely to ensure full restoration,” said Singtel.

It will be offering its mobile pre-paid and post-paid customers a day of free local mobile data on Nov 10, a Saturday.

A spokesman for telco regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority said it is investigating the incident.

BADLY AFFECTED

I could… not use the phone network. This caused me great inconvenience.

SINGTEL USER CHLOE POH, who was unable to call for a Grab car to get home after an office event.

While some customers said service was restored for them after Singtel’s 1.20am update, others still had issues connecting to the Internet on their mobile lines.

The telco said later at 2am that as of 1.22am, all affected services had been restored.

A Singtel spokesman said yesterday: “We regret last evening’s service interruption that affected mobile voice, SMS and data services…

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers and thank them for their patience.”

On Thursday night, many Singtel mobile users said they were unable to make calls or access the Internet.

Customers took to Singtel’s Facebook page to complain about service disruptions in areas such as Jurong, Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Woodlands, Orchard, Sengkang and Potong Pasir.

Between 10pm, when users said they started experiencing problems, and about 11pm on Thursday, there were at least 200 posts complaining about the lack of calling, text messaging and 4G data services.

Singtel first posted about the disruption at about 11pm, noting that there were mobile network issues, and that its engineers were looking into the matter.

In an update at 12.20am yesterday, Singtel said: “We regret to inform that some customers may be experiencing intermittent difficulties accessing mobile voice and data services on the 3G/4G network.”

By 1am, Singtel’s post about the disruption had received about 2,000 comments, about 1,800 reactions – including likes and angry reactions – and 770 shares.

In a Facebook post before Singtel’s update, user Jess Woo said she had tried to restart her phone multiple times in the last hour.

“Till now no response or official updates from Singtel on their page,” she added.

User Chloe Poh said she tried to call for a Grab car home after an office event but could not do so. “I could… not use the phone network. This caused me great inconvenience. Please give an explanation.”

Legal trainee Tan Anqi Angelina, 24, told The Straits Times that she relied on her home’s Wi-Fi network to surf the Internet.

“I’m not exactly sure when service resumed but when I went to bed at around 1am, it was still down,” she said.

Another Singtel subscriber, Ms Lim Lee Ren, 25, said she was not badly affected, as she was at home and could still rely on Wi-Fi.

But Ms Lim, who is an analyst at a finance start-up, added: “It would have been problematic if I was out and unable to reply to my bosses who need replies 24/7.”

Article first sighted on The Straits Times.