BALTIMORE (CNN/WJZ) — A sweeping internet disruption on Thursday briefly took out a wide range of major corporate websites — from FedEx and Southwest Airlines to HSBC and McDonald’s.
The outages coincided with reports of system disruptions from Akamai and Oracle, two key providers of internet infrastructure services.READ MORE: Baltimore Mayor Says Vaccine ‘Difference Between Life and Death’ As Some City Neighborhoods Only 30% Vaccinated; Mayor, Governor Say No New Restrictions For Now
Southwest Airlines, which has a major hub at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, was among the companies affected.
In a statement to WJZ, a spokesperson said, “our website and other internet-based tools are back up and running after a brief outage involving a third-party vendor. We appreciate our Customers’ patience as our Teams worked with the vendor quickly to restore these systems.”
“Delta.com and the Fly Delta app are functioning normally after they were briefly impacted Thursday by a technical issue a vendor had that impacted websites globally,” the company said in a statement to WJZ. “There was no operational impact, and we apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
Oracle said Thursday afternoon that its outage was the result of Akamai’s service disruption.
“We are monitoring a global issue related to a partner Edge DNS that is impacting access to many internet resources, including Oracle cloud properties,” Oracle said.
Akamai’s Edge DNS service helps route web browsers to their correct destinations and also provides security service.
At approximately 12:50 pm ET — less than an hour after the outages began cropping up — Akamai said: “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.”READ MORE: Police Investigating Fatal Shooting Of Kevin Glendenning At Royal Farms In Rosedale
Later Thursday afternoon, Akamai explained that the outage was caused by a “software configuration update triggered a bug in the DNS system.” It confirmed that the disruption lasted “up to an hour” and was not the result of a cyberattack.
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
Among the affected websites were Fidelity, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s document search site, Airbnb, British Airways and others. Most of the sites were back up and running in under an hour.
This is the third major internet outage in two months, and the second involving Akamai. In early June, dozens of websites including Target, the New York Times and a UK government website went down for around 50 minutes because of a widespread failure at content delivery network Fastly. Ten days later, airlines, banks, stock exchanges and trading platforms suffered brief outages, which Akamai said was the result of a bug in a service that helps mitigate distributed denial-of-service attacks.
Major website and app outages happen from time to time and typically don’t last long. Internet service providers, content delivery networks and other hosting services are built with multiple redundancies and a global network of backup servers designed to reduce disruptions when things go haywire. However, the recent outages have caused some experts to warn of the risks of the internet’s reliance on a relatively small number of core infrastructure providers.MORE NEWS: Baltimore Police Searching For Suspects In Multiple Federal Hill Armed Robberies
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