Massive internet outrage hits websites including the top ones like Amazon, Gov.UK, The Guardian, and many more! This issue made many websites inaccessible to users across the globe.
Others affected included the publishers CNN, the New York Times, and the Financial Times, as well as the streaming services Twitch and Hulu.
The following issue was diagnosed due to the failure in Content Delivery Network (CDN) run by Fastly. Over half of the internet’s traffic is served by a CDN. The goal of the CDN is to reduce latency – the delay between submitting a request for a web page and the web page fully loading on your device – by reducing the physical distance that the request has to travel.
Fastly is a cloud computing company that provides CDN services to various websites including Amazon. But how can a single company bring down a noticeable proportion of the internet? Hell yes!
When we access a website, we might assume our browser goes off to the internet, talks to the remote site, and then presents the page on our screen. While this is in essence what happens, it masks a much more complicated process, which can include CDN services.
It began at 11:00 am UK time with visitors to a huge number of sites receiving error messages including, “Error 503 service unavailable” and a terse “connection failure”. The failure was not only just for websites, but It also broke specific sections of other services including the servers for Twitter that host the social network’s emojis.
Following the failure, Fastly said:
“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services.” It was not until 11.57 UK time, almost an hour later, that Fastly declared the incident over. The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return.”
“We identified a service configuration that triggered disruptions across our POPs [points of presence] globally and has disabled that configuration. Our global network is coming back online.”Error Message By Fastly at 10:58 UK Time Zone
Despite speculation on social media that the outage was the result of a malicious attack, leading to the hashtag cyberattack trending on Twitter, there is no evidence pointing to foul play. Instead, the company says a configuration error was at fault.
The catastrophic failure was not geographically universal. Users in some locations, such as Berlin, reported no problems, while others experienced massive failures across the internet. Outages were reported in locations as varied as London, Texas, and New Zealand.
Source: The Guardian
Despite the global outrage, it was resolved in just a couple of hours. But at first sight, it indicated some kind of security and hacking-related issue. Reports suggest that it was most likely due to a short-term failure in Fastly’s infrastructure, or a misconfiguration that spread through their entire systems.
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