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.
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
Based on recent visits to this article, it seems those impacted by this issue include people in the midwest through the east coast states. The maps below show recent visitors to this page. Click any image for a larger gallery view.