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Net Weakness Seen in YouTube Outage

That Pakistan's state-owned telco was able to cut the social network from the global Web highlights security problems in how the Internet is managed

After receiving a censorship order from the telecommunications ministry directing that YouTube.com be blocked, Pakistan Telecom went even further. By accident or design, the company broadcast instructions worldwide claiming to be the legitimate destination for anyone trying to reach YouTube's range of Internet addresses.

The security weakness lies in why those false instructions, which took YouTube offline for two hours on Sunday, were believed by routers around the globe. That's because Hong Kong-based PCCW, which provides the Internet link to Pakistan Telecom, did not stop the misleading broadcast--which is what most large providers in the United States and Europe do.