A temporary internet outage caused the collapse of major online banking and gaming services on Thursday afternoon, July 22.
Among online banking affected by the disruption were some prominent websites such as Barclays, TSB, Bank of Scotland, Tesco Bank and Sainsbury’s Bank. They were unable to offer their services to clients for a short time.
Airbnb, Delta Airlines, and popular gaming platforms PlayStation Network and Steam were also affected by the hour-long outage. Users were unable to load the pages and some reported receiving the “DNS error” message.
The incident was blamed on Akamai, a global content delivery network (CDN), a cybersecurity and cloud services company based in Massachusetts, United States. The company began to actively investigate the issue and marked the issue as resolved an hour later.
“At 3:46 PM UTC today, a software configuration update triggered a bug in DNS, the system that directs browsers to websites. This has caused a disruption affecting the availability of some customer websites. The disruption lasted for up to an hour. When canceling the software configuration update, the services resumed normal operations. Akamai can confirm that this was not a cyber attack against the Akamai platform. We apologize for the inconvenience caused. We are reviewing our software update process to avoid future disruptions,” Akamai tweeted the same day.
The outage follows a similar outage that occurred on June 8, when a rival CDN provider, Fastly, experienced an issue that resulted in further disruption of content distribution around the world. The outage caused major service providers such as Amazon, Reddit, Twitch, Pinterest and Twitter, to go down. Important websites including The Guardian, BBC, The New York Times and even the UK government’s gov.uk domain have collapsed, causing the major futures markets in the United States to plunge sharply.
An issue in Amazon Web Services (AWS) earlier this month caused a similar issue around the world. These incidents offer a lesson in warning to businesses that depend on cloud services for content delivery.