A beserk network gadget, perhaps driven mad by the unusual heat, was responsible for the failure of some 17 500 Lattelecom DSL connections (25 % of all subscribers), disruption of some automated teller machines and the 1188 information service at the weekend.
According to the heat-insanity theory, the air conditioning in the network equipment facility was insufficient, but there could have been other, undetermined causes. According to Lattelecom network director Valdis Voncovics, hacker or denial of service attacks were not a cause of the outage.
Lattelecom may have to pay compensation to some customer with service level agreements, but was lucky that the breakdown took place the night between Friday and Saturday instead of a workday, when more business customers would have been seriously affected.
Lattelecom now plans to realign its network architecture to make it easier to isolate malfunctioning network equipment. Had the gadget – some kind of network card with routing functions – simply failed, its load would have been shifted to other equipment more or less automatically, but since the gadget was still technically alive, but pumping deranged and disruptive data into the network, this did not occur. Indeed, Lattelecom had to call in extra specialists (in addition to the duty staff late at night) to determine just WTF was going on.
Something similar occured last year, when one of ISP Latnet's Cisco boxes went totally batshit during a workweek and knocked some heavy customers – Latvian TV, Latvian radio, the Customs service, etc., off the net.