For eight minutes last Friday, a bulk of Japan's internet traffic was routed incorrectly thanks to Google, which resulted in half the country not being able to access the internet for hours, Japanese news outlets report. Google has issued an apology.
According to Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese news organization, starting at around 12 pm on Friday, Google routed the flow of internet traffic incorrectly and sent IP addresses belonging to Japanese internet service providers into the ether.
The outage affected Japan's largest internet service providers, including NTT Communications, which serve nearly 8 million customers and almost half a million organizations.
Google corrected the mistake within eight minutes, but internet disruptions lasted hours, affecting half the country and multiple industries. Japan's Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry launched an investigation, Asahi Shimbun reports.
Throughout the day, online banks went down, brokerage houses stopped trading, and popular apps like Mercari and Line were not working. Commuters on the East Japan Railroad were not able to buy tickets online for most of the afternoon.
"We set wrong information for the network and, as a result, problems occurred," Google told Asahi Shimbun. "We modified the information to the correct one within eight minutes. We apologize for causing inconvenience and anxieties (among Internet users)."