Charter Communications Service Outage Across US Possibly Caused By Large Scale DNS Hack

Was your high-speed Internet service acting wonky yesterday? Are you a Charter customer? If you answered 'yes' to both questions, you're not alone. It appears that Charter, the nation's fourth largest cable operator, suffered a widespread outage in broadband Internet service starting on late Saturday afternoon and continuing into the night.

This editor happens to reside in southwest Michigan and was affected by the outage, as were residents of Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, and several other states. According to Charter spokeswoman Kim Haas, the service disruptions were "intermittent across parts of our footprint."

Charter Speed
Charter offers fast Internet service, but last night, a widespread service disruption affected customers in several states.

Haas also said Charter is investigating the issue, and as of this writing, the company still has not provided an explanation for the outage. However, some savvy Internet users discovered that they could get back online by changing their Domain Name System (DNS) settings to something other than Charter. By switching to Google's Public DNS, users affected by the outage were able to get back online.

That being the case, there's speculation that Charter was (or still is) suffering from a serious DNS attack. At least one customer on a web forum claims to have confirmed the DNS attack theory with a Charter representative, though the cable operator has yet to issue an official statement on any hacking attempts.