When Vodafone users in the UK found themselves grappling with network downtime on their mobile phones, a segment of them turned to various social media platforms to express their frustration. While many were eager to learn when normal network services would be restored, some speculated that the downtime could be the result of a sophisticated DDoS cyber-attack on Britain.
Down Detector, a popular online network monitoring tool, released a statement suggesting that the potential attack might have commenced at 6:18 GMT and was expected to be resolved by the end of the day.
Vodafone addressed the situation via a statement to the Daily Mail, assuring users that their staff was actively working to resolve the internet downtime issue, with messaging and call services remaining operational.
Users on the 4G network reported delays in message deliveries and call drops, attributing the issue to the fact that call and message processing relies on internet connectivity, which has been down since the early hours of Wednesday.
The impact of the downtime was most significant in Birmingham and Manchester, while services in other regions were anticipated to be restored by the evening.
Interestingly, following a cyber-attack on Vodafone Portugal in March 2022, the telecom giant implemented a comprehensive cybersecurity protocol, known as Vodafone Cyber Conde, for its employees. This protocol restricts access to servers without multi-factor authentication, mandates the regular implementation of security patches on devices, and emphasizes the avoidance of clicking on malicious links sent through SMS or email. Employees are also required to use secure passwords, consisting of a combination of alphanumeric characters and 1-2 numbers.
Thus, the speculations circulating on Facebook and Twitter X regarding the cause of the downtime are deemed false. Vodafone attributes the service disruption to a misconfiguration error rather than any external cyber threat.