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Some Observations on Reachability of Egyptian Networks and Providers

Different media are reporting that Internet and other forms of electronic communications are being disrupted in Egypt.  Presumably after a government order in response to the protests. Looking at BGP data we can confirm that according to our analysis 88% of the ‘Egyptian Internet’ has fallen of the Internet. In this post I’ll share some observations I made with regards to the reachability of Egyptian networks and providers.

What’s different in this case as compared to other ‘similar’ cases is that all of the major ISP’s seem to be almost completely offline. Whereas in other cases, social media sites such as facebook and twitter were typically blocked.  In this case the government seems to be taking a shotgun approach by ordering ISP’s to stop routing all networks.

Networks affected

When looking at the data it’s clear that many Egyptian networks have fallen off the Internet. Let’s start by looking at a quick summary. Yesterday there were 2903 Egyptian networks, originated from 52 ISP’s. Transit was provided via 45 unique isp’s.
Today at 2am UTC, the numbers look quite different, there were only 327 Egyptian networks left on the Internet. These were originated 26 by ISP’s.
So 88% of the Egyptian networks is unreachable!

Num of prefixesNum of origin Asn

Below you’ll find a table with the top 10 providers in Egypt. It shows how many Egyptian networks were announced earlier this week and how many are reachable today.

As you can see in the table below, right now most autonomous systems (ISP’s) are no longer announcing any, or at the very least, significantly less prefixes.

Prefixes todayPrefixes earlier this weekorigin ASProvider name
207758452TE-AS TE-AS
021724835RAYA Telecom—Egypt
858320928Noor Data Networks
233615475Nile Online

Interestingly the only provider that doesn’t seem to be impacted by this is AS20928 (Noor Data Networks).

Below is the list of providers that are still announcing networks (based on routeviews data):

NetworkNameNumber of routes
AS20928Noor Data Networks83
AS24835RAYA Telecom—Egypt38
AS15475Nile Online23
AS2561Egyptian Universities Network (EUN)14

By looking at some Egyptian websites and looking at when they became unreachable we are able to determine when the problem started.

At this point egypt.gov.eg is offline. This network, was withdrawn at January 27th at 22:28 UTC . Another example is www.ahram.org.eg an Egyptian news paper. This network, became unreachable at the exact same time, January 27th at 22:28 UTC.

Update (Jan 28 6:36 PM UTC) – At this point only 239 Egyptian networks are reachable, this means that 91% of the Egyptian routes are unreachable. Noor networks remains the only provider that seems to be unaffected by this. Vodafone has confirmed on their website, that they have been instructed to shutdown services in parts of the country.

By Andree Toonk, Founder and lead developer of BGPmon.net.

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