The next 48 hours may be tough for internet users as domain servers and other network infrastructure is shutdown for maintenance.
Ecommerce majors Flipkart and Amazon opened their annual festival sale events on Oct 10, and in one day, reported sales of over 15 million units ranging from mobiles and large appliances to apparel.
A news report by Russia Today may put a damper to this euphoria. The internet is likely to face a shutdown over the next two days, the news report said, as systems undergo maintenance. In the event of such a shutdown, millions of people may not be able to access the internet.
Business and other activities may be hit, as would ordering food, paying bills, shopping, and bank transactions. The news report said the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), responsible for the maintenance of registry of domain names and IP addresses, will change its cryptographic key to counter rising incidents of internet threats and cyber hacks.
This key is responsible for protecting the Domain Name System (DNS), which is like the address book of the internet that matches domain names with IP addresses. According to the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), this maintenance activity is important to ensure the security and stability of DNS.
Internet users might be affected for 48 hours if their network operators or internet service providers have not prepared for the change in this cryptographic key. Millions of internet users might not be able to access web pages or make online transactions. They are likely to see a “server failure” message when trying to access the internet.
ICANN, the Russia Today report said, has already carried out similar preliminary tests before, and will ensure that the key replacement process faces minimal problems. It expects about one percent of the world’s internet users to experience the crash – or around 36 million internet users.
In a written reply to indianexpress.com, ICANN said that the Root Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover will not affect connectivity, and will have minimum impact to users, and declared the Russia Today report as ‘clickbait’.
The organisation added that the change in this key was announced in August, and the process has been underway for more than 24 hours now, without any significant impact on connectivity.