An outage at Akamai’s Edge DNS Service took down many websites worldwide, including major ones, such as Airbnb, HBO Max, TikTok, and Amazon, this Thursday.
Immediately upon the outage, Akamai Technologies posted on its Twitter account:
Akamai is experiencing a service disruption. We are actively investigating the issue and will provide an update in 30 minutes.
The wide assortment of websites that went down due to this include UPS, LastPass, Fidelity Investments, Steam, FedEx, Delta Air Lines, American Express, Delta, Southwest Airlines, Salesforce, the PlayStation Network, along with the ones as stipulated above.
Akamai Summarizes Service Disruption (RESOLVED)
At 15:46 UTC today, a software configuration update triggered a bug in the DNS system, the system that directs browsers to websites. This caused a disruption impacting availability of some customer websites. (1/3)
— Akamai Technologies (@Akamai) July 22, 2021
Akamai Technologies first pointed out a service disruption as the cause for the Internet outage. Then, they specified a failure in their Edge DNS Service as the root issue.
As the issue wasn’t caused by a cyberattack but by a bug caused by a software configuration update, Akamai Technologies has quickly resolved the issue with its Edge DNS service by rolling back the update.
An Akamai spokesperson told CRN in a statement:
We have implemented a fix for this issue, and based on current observations, the service is resuming normal operations. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact has been fully mitigated.
Akamai Technologies apologized to its users for the “inconvenience that resulted.” It further stated that it would review its software update process “to prevent future disruptions.”
The provider experienced service disruptions with its hosting platform last month. A bug in a service that helps mitigate distributed denial-of-service attacks caused brief outages in airlines, banks, stock exchanges, and trading platforms. So, this DNS Outage is the second Akamai outage in as many months.
Ten days before Akamai’s first outage, the content delivery network Fastly caused a widespread failure as well. In June, dozens of websites, including Target, the New York Times, and a UK government website, went down for around 50 minutes.
These three recent outages lead experts to warn of the risks of the internet’s reliance on a relatively small number of core infrastructure providers.
Some of the world’s largest websites and services rely on only a few giant Internet infrastructure providers today. This global outage only showed us that a failure in a single provider could cause significant consequences on the Internet ecosystem as a whole.