Internet Can Shut Down Over Next 48 Hours – 5 Facts You Should Know

In future, be prepared to experience more such shutdowns

Internet is shutting down for 48 hours
Internet is shutting down for 48 hours

For the first time ever, the entire Internet can be shut down. This may happen in the next 48 hours, and once this happens, then you won’t be able to open any website.

Why is this happening? And what can be done to avoid this shutdown?

Here are 5 facts every Internet user should be aware of:


Global Internet Shut Down: Why It’s Happening?

Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN will be shutting down their main domain servers and related infrastructure, globally. This is a maintenance exercise and will be carried over in the next 48 hours.

ICANN is the non-profit organization which maintains domain servers, namespaces and critical databases which are responsible for a stable Internet for all.

How Will the Internet Survive?

Ok, so this is a tricky question. First, we need to know what exactly is happening here. ICANN, in the next 48 hours, will change the cryptographic key which protects the DNS or Domain Name System for all websites.

DNS, in layman terms, is the address book of all websites of this world. DNS converts, which is the domain name to an IP Address so that your computer can open our website.

Now, once DNS is switched off, then no computer or mobile can read any website, and hence, the whole Internet will crash down.

So, it is temporary shutdown, and guess what? Internet will survive this.

Who Can Ensure Internet Works In This Period?

Your local ISP or Internet Service Provider is the only entity which can ensure that your Internet works.

ICANN and all ISPs work this way: There are over 130 locations at which where exists hundreds of servers. Now, when a server is down somewhere, the nearest server picks up the load and the continuity of Internet is maintained.

These are known as Root Zones.

Now, the ISPs will need to ensure that if the DNS service of one location is turned off, they can maintain connectivity using other servers of the Root Zone.

ICANN had informed all ISPs about this, but, not everyone will be prepared.

David Conrad, ICANN‘s Chief Technology Officer, said: “It is almost certain there will be at least a few operators somewhere across the globe who won’t be prepared, but even in the worst case, all they have to do to fix the problem is, turn off DNSSECvalidation, install the new key, and reenable DNSSEC and their users will again have full connectivity to the DNS.”

Will This Happen In Future?

Although this is the first time such a massive shutdown is taking place, globally, this won’t be the last. In future, ICANN is expected to make more such shutdowns as DNS needs constant updates to maintain security.

ICANN Board Chair Cherine Chalaby said, “This is an important move and we have an obligation to ensure that it happens in furtherance of ICANN‘s mission, which is to ensure a secure, stable and resilient DNS.”

What Precautions Should You Take?

Once the shutdown begins, and if your ISP is not prepared, then you won’t be able to open any app, any website either on your computer or your mobile.

Hence, you should minimize your dependence on the Internet, for atleast two days.

If you are a Netflix user, then maybe you should made an offline copy of the series you are watching; and maybe save the important documents (medical prescriptions, passwords) in an offline mode.

It is not clear as of now whether ATM services will be disrupted or not.

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Update 1: Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator has assured that the impact will be minimum. He said, “All arrangements are in place and there will be no internet shut down in India as is being circulated in the media,”

We will keep you updated, as we receive more updates.

1 Comment
  1. Julf Helsingius says

    The DNS root KSK rollover happened at 1600 UTC on 11 October. No, nothing was shut down. The keys were updated, and everything still works just fine.

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