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Photo: PhotoTalk/Getty

Google apps' web traffic was mysteriously routed through Russia and China on Monday.

Why it matters: Some security experts believe this may have been an attack on one of the internet's core networking protocols.

Yes, but: It could also have been caused by something as simple as a typo in Russia or China. The internet is fragile.

What is clear is that on Monday, something was horribly amiss in the border gateway protocol (BGP).

  • Not all internet and web service providers can talk to each other, and BGP lets various networks coordinate the quickest path from point A to point B.
  • On Monday, through some accident or intentional attack, the internet began to believe that the fastest way to Google was through a server in Russia and a server in China regardless of where the traffic originated from. The China server ceased all the traffic sent its way, making Google Cloud briefly appear to be out.

What is not clear is whether this was an intentional attack. Given the countries involved, it's very possible it was, although due to the way internet traffic is encrypted, China would have needed to let the internet traffic through to Google to do full-throttle surveillance.

  • BGP routing errors can and frequently are caused by simple mistakes. This could be a mistake. It's impossible to definitively say.

Go deeper

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Officer Kim Potter arrested, charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Kim Potter, the former police officer charged with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, was released on a $100,000 bond on Wednesday, Hennepin County jail records show.

Why it matters: Sunday's shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, just 10 miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

Biden names Erika Moritsugu as senior AAPI liaison

Erika Moritsugu. Photo courtesy: National Partnership for Women & Families

President Biden has named Erika Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison, the White House announced Wednesday.

Driving the news: The decision follows weeks of pressure from AAPI leaders to include more Asian American representation at the Cabinet level and in senior administration roles.

Matt Gaetz targets CNN in new ad amid sexual misconduct claims

Rep. Matt Gaetz in Doral, Florida, last week. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) announced Wednesday a six-figure ad buy for a spot that takes aim at CNN as part of an offensive to hit back at mounting sexual misconduct allegations, Politico first reported.

Driving the news: Gaetz is under federal investigation following sex trafficking allegations, and the House Ethics Committee has also opened an inquiry. Announcing the 30-second ad, to run in his Florida Panhandle district, Gaetz called on his Twitter followers to "help us fight back!"