Problem Origin – August 2018

In the middle of the day on 7 Aug 2018, some customers on AT&T began to notice an error when trying to use Google to search. The common error people were getting is:

“Your client does not have permission to get URL” and the rest of the URL for the search.”

Another error stated:

“Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network. This page checks to see if it’s really you sending the requests, and not a robot.”

This incident raises awareness and concern about the possibility of a network or service being taken down by its own security countermeasures. For example, if a denial of service (DOS) or other similar attack was launched from within the AT&T mobile service network against Google’s search servers, then the AT&T mobile service network (and all customers) would be denied access to Google search services, or perhaps customers on a segment of the network that had been maliciously used.

Renewed Discussion – January 2020

As of January 2020, there are new comments on the Google discussion thread where people are experiencing this issue. [View]

Mobile Error Screen

The error screen below is what may have initially showed up when some malicious activity was detected. Then later, it’s possible that the system refused or denied all traffic from the offending network address range.

Scope of Impact

The maps below show recent visitors to this page as of 26 Jan 2020. Click any image for a larger gallery view. Compared to the visitor maps from August 2018, these recent maps suggest the problem has spread to the western United States, Europe, and Asia.

The maps below show the scope of impact based on page visits as of 7 Aug 2018.