• Thursday, Feb 02, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Brief, global internet outages blamed on software bug

  • Published at 05:51 am June 18th, 2021

Recent outages underscore how vital a small number of behind-the-scenes companies have become to running the internet

A software bug at a major network provider briefly knocked dozens of financial institutions, airlines and other companies across the globe offline during peak business hours in Asia. 

Akamai, which runs one of the internet's main content-delivery systems, said the outage on Thursday was not caused by a cyberattack, but rather a software bug on a service that protects customers against denial-of-service attacks, reports AP.  

Many of the 500 affected Akamai customers had their traffic rerouted in minutes, but it took more than four hours to fully restore the system, the Massachusetts company said. 

Akamai operates mirrors of customer websites in 135 countries – known as edge servers – designed to speed access to them. 

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the four largest US airlines were among those impacted. Akamai does not name its customers but says they include more than 300 of the world's banks, more than 30 airlines, more than 200 national government agencies, and 825 retailers. 

Many of the outages were reported by people in Australia trying to do banking, book flights and access postal services at mid-afternoon. Many services were back up and running after an hour or so. 

Banking services were severely disrupted, with Westpac, the Commonwealth, ANZ and St George all down, along with the website of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the country's central bank. The Reserve Bank cancelled a bond-buying operation due to technical difficulties facing several banks that were to participate. 

The airline Virgin Australia was also affected and cited the Akamai content delivery system. It said flights largely operated as scheduled after it restored access to its website and guest contact centre.

Outages briefly spiked on American, Delta, United, and Southwest airlines. Because the disruptions happened late at night in the US when few planes were taking off, airline representatives said there was little to no effect on flights. 

The disruptions occurred only days after many of the world's top websites went offline briefly due to a software disruption at Fastly, another major web services company. The company blamed the problem on a software bug triggered when a single customer changed a setting. 

Brief internet service outages are not uncommon and are only rarely the result of hacking or other mischief. However, the recent outages have underscored how vital a small number of behind-the-scenes companies have become to running the internet. 

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail