Cloudflare Radar Bulletin: From Ukraine to Iran disruptions
In this program we cover recent Internet disruptions, outages and general trends that we see worldwide using Cloudflare data — available on radar.cloudflare.com . On the October 13, 2022 edition, we cover the clear Internet disruption in multiple regions in Ukraine caused by the air attacks that started on Monday. We also show how Internet shut-downs in Iran returned this week, in the midst of nationwide protests.
Host João Tomé is joined by our head of Data Insight, David Belson.
Hello and welcome to our very first Cloudflare Radar Bulletin. Today we're going to focus on Ukraine, given that there were a lot of disruptions on the Internet this week.
We're starting to try out this format, Cloudflare Radar Bulletin, related to Internet trends, insights and outages we saw on radar.
So feedback from everyone is appreciated.
You could go to Cloudflare Radar Twitter account and just give us your feedback.
We want to make it short. So let's start right now.
I'm João Tomé, Cloudflare Storyteller of sorts at your service based in Lisbon, Portugal.
And with me, I have David Belson, our Head of Data Insights that is in Boston, the Boston area, right, David?
Hello, Boston area. This week. So let's start right in because we want to make it short.
This week, we had a major disruption in Internet traffic in multiple cities in Ukraine because of airstrikes on Monday.
So this, in a sense, was impacting all sorts of regions from east to west Ukraine.
And it was a major impact in some of those regions, right? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, because obviously, those airstrikes have an impact on infrastructure, you know, taking out power, taking out cables and whatnot.
You know, obviously, that will impact users' ability to connect to the Internet.
With energy impact, usually also comes Internet impact.
In this case, on Monday, we saw at that time, let me share here the chart, we saw a clear decrease at a time 35% drop in traffic after 7.30 UTC time in Ukraine.
In terms of the regions, Kharkiv, here it is. That's obviously a much more severe sort of immediate disruption.
Sometimes we see them where the traffic tails off, sometimes we see a clear immediate drop.
This was a clear multiple city and regions impact in this case, also a big impact in Lviv.
Kiev also was impacted, in a sense. So several ASNs were also impacted. We continue to monitor the trends on that day on Monday.
But we did the same on Tuesday and yesterday.
For example, on Tuesday, the impact was still clear in terms of Ukraine, not actually in Ukraine in general, but some of the cities.
This is the perspective here.
So some of the cities were having that impact. In this case, Lviv was showing also a clear impact here.
And also Poltava Oblast, in some regions, it came, it recovered.
Yeah, recovery times often are related to dinner line costs.
So oftentimes the power outages, we'll see recovery happen a little bit faster.
You know, obviously power is used for everything else.
And so the crews there will work to get the power restored as much as possible.
Whereas more significant infrastructure damage will often take longer to repair, meaning we'll see a longer road for recovery.
Exactly. Even yesterday, we saw that recovery in several cities, in terms of traffic volumes, for sure.
And this morning, we just checked and it seems most of the cities are coming really back to normal, even those still impacted yesterday.
So the recovery seems to be holding up, which is important in terms of having access to all sorts of things in terms of the Internet, for sure.
So yesterday, there was also impact in Iran, right?
Again, to Iran. So this is happening for a while now.
Right. So since, I believe, September 21st or 22nd, somewhere around there, there have been regular Internet shutdowns, primarily focused on or primarily at three key mobile providers, MCI, Around Cell, and Rytel.
So those are the three.
For about two weeks after they started, there was basically an Internet curfew, if you will, that was implemented, where the Internet connectivity on those networks was shut down effectively between like 4pm and midnight local time.
And that happened for about two weeks.
And then, I think, early last week, that sort of regular shutdown stopped.
They went for a few days. And I think over the last week, they've implemented shutdowns again, sort of more unannounced or unexpected shutdowns twice, I think once over the weekend, and then once yesterday.
And then again, these are obviously all related to the riots and protests and whatnot that are spreading across Iran, related to the death of a young woman there.
Exactly. So this is all related to that situation that created big, big turmoil in the country.
And this is on the news everywhere in the world, because it's all about having access to the Internet to be able to do everything.
Yeah. And what a lot of these providers are doing, or ultimately, I think, driven by the government, is shutting down the connectivity at key times of the day, in large part to prevent information about what's going on there from getting out.
If you look at the reports and stuff, there's obviously reports of violence and other deaths.
I think the government is ultimately trying to prevent more of that information from reaching the rest of the world.
There's two things here, I think, that are important, like the curfews, Internet curfews.
So that happens in specific times of the day.
We've seen this before in other countries, in other situations, even in Kazakhstan a while ago and earlier this year.
So this happens at specific times, usually, sometimes it shifts, right?
I think in Iran, it was mostly at the beginning, right?
In general, Iran was pretty consistent. The start times, I think, on a few days shifted a little bit, a half hour earlier, a half hour later.
I'm showing the chart here, and it shows the outages in those ASNs.
Right. Yeah, it's pretty consistent.
Yeah. And what that does is, and it's mostly mobile, so it's mostly if you're out on the street and not in your house, so they still want to have some access to the Internet, at least in some parts of the day and in some types of network, for sure.
Right. I mean, I think it's generally available during the work, the local work day.
But they're shutting it down pretty consistently, as I mentioned, between 4pm and midnight.
Exactly. And the protests usually happen depending on the evening, exactly.
So it's completely related to that. We can see that happening.
And now is the new trend in the sense that they ended the curfews, like you were saying, and now they're focused on more specific things.
We don't know exactly why the pattern.
Yeah, they seem to be more, I think the last few shutdowns seem to be more opportunistic than sort of regular.
Exactly. And it's ongoing, and we'll continue to monitor.
I think we were able to give a good perspective here, just end things.
We also posted this morning an outage in Pakistan, in South Pakistan, because of power plant failure problems in South Pakistan.
So there was also an outage there.
And I think we have a good- And that's a fairly common occurrence as well.
I mean, not for Pakistan specifically, but in general. A lot of times we will see power failures, whether it's due to cables, power cables, or it's issues at a power plant.
I've definitely seen those in multiple places around the world.
And power goes out, ultimately the Internet goes out. Even recently with the hurricanes in the US, Florida, of course.
Yeah, it's common. And in Pakistan also happened during the- Oh, the flooding.
The flooding, yeah. They had a problem with flooding.
A month ago, I think. Last month, I think. Yeah, I think so too.
So it really impacts some of those events, depending on types of events and different events really impact those things.
I think we have a good sum up here, and we just did it.
The Cloudflare Radar Bulletin. I hope everyone enjoyed. If you want to check more trends, you could go to radar.Cloudflare.com.
And of course, to our Twitter account, Cloudflare Radar.
So hope to see you next time.