The official website of the Government of Mauritius, www.gov.mu is down in all countries of the world except for subscribers of ISP Mauritius Telecom. The problem is apparently being caused by wrong DNS configurations. If you try accessing the website right now, there’s a high probability that you will see the error message shown below. If you are a subscriber of MT ADSL or MyT, then you may be able to access the website, however we can confirm that many users of Bees, and Emtel are not able to access the gov.mu website right now. We’ve asked a few contacts outside of Mauritius to check too, and the website is offline. (See update below)
According to Ish Sookun, the IT expert who revealed several vulnerabilities on the government portal, the official government website is offline due to wrong DNS configurations being handled by “another” private company. It’s important to mention that the DNS settings for gov.mu are not managed by the government but are instead handled by the company who offered the domain registration service. According to Ish, even the mail server of gov.mu is not working as it should.
The screenshot below (provided by Ish Sookun) shows that the MX record for mail.gov.mu has a value of hostmaster.nic.mu – If you are going to send an email to any gov.mu email address, you are advised to hold on.
Updates: Ajay Ramjatan, another IT expert has clarified a few points about the issue with gov.mu – According to Mr Ramjatan, the emails to @gov.mu addresses are not being wrongly routed, but they are actually NOT BEING routed at all.
Ajay also provided some details about what’s actually happening. In his own words:
The availability of say www.gov.mu depends on the proper operation of at least three things, which I’ll detail a little bit.
- Proper DNS operation of .mu itself. This part is managed by the .MU registry, commonly called nic.mu. This body has been put in charge by another larger Internet body, to manage the .MU country code.
- Proper DNS operation of gov.mu. This portion is handled by the government as nic.mu has delegated them the ability to do so. This is where I say which website www.gov.mu points to and where emails sent to [email protected] should go.
- The web service where www.gov.mu points to and the email server accepting emails for mail.gov.mu.
Based on cursory search I did early this morning, it seems that something is broken at 1 and 2. The most important breakage is happening at 2, which is why many of you can’t reach many websites ending in @gov.mu and can’t reach correspondents with a @mail.gov.mu address. This is happening because of severe DNS misconfiguration issues with gov.mu. Basically what’s happening is, you’re typing an address www.gov.mu and your browser does not know which server this address corresponds to.
As at now, November 3rd 2014 19:30, the problem has not yet been fixed. The official government website of Mauritius is dark on the internet!