Thursday, August 13, 2009

DNS problem with gmail (404) - possible dns poisoning

Yesterday I had the weirdest phenomenon, my gmail stopped working.
It just returned a 404 error (page not found).

Why do I say it was weird ?

  • Because it happened only on one of the computers in my network, while the other machine had no problems getting to gmail.

  • Because it happened on both IE and FF so it did not seem to result from a browser specific issue.

  • Because it only effected gmail but on the same machine I had no problem accessing any other web site including other google services such as calendar.

  • Because pinging to or or all returned addresses that seemed to be valid google IPs.

  • Because when using IE to try and get to I got a windows authentication dialog (and I really don't think gmail is running on windows based machines).

  • Because it turned out that it was actually trying to access the local web server on my machine and when I configured it to return a page when asked for /mail it did return that page.

  • Because at some point a ping to started returning (localhost).

  • Because this happened at the same day to a friend that was running Vista. (we do have both linksys routers and use the same internet provider.)

Eventually this was fixed by calling ipconfig /flushdns - I guess a restart could also do the trick.

Why and how did this happen - I have no idea.

Has anyone else encountered such strange behavior ?

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