On Thursday, a widespread internet outage knocked out a number of major corporate websites, including FedEx and Delta Air Lines, as well as HSBC and McDonald’s.
The outages were timed to coincide with reports of system outages from Akamai (AKAM) and Oracle (ORCL), two major internet infrastructure service providers.
The outage was caused by Akamai’s service disruption, Oracle said Thursday afternoon.
“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.
Edge DNS is a service provided by Akamai that assists in routing web browsers to their intended destinations while also providing security.
Akamai issued the following statement at 12:50 p.m. ET, less than an hour after the outages began: “We’ve fixed the problem, and the service is back to normal now, according to our current observations. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact has been fully mitigated.”
The outage was caused by a “software configuration update that triggered a bug in the DNS system,” Akamai explained later Thursday afternoon. The outage lasted “up to an hour,” according to the company, and was not caused by a cyberattack.
Fidelity, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s document search site, Airbnb, British Airways, and other websites were among those affected. In less than an hour, the majority of the sites were back up and running.
This is the third major internet outage in less than two months, and the second to be caused by Akamai. Due to a widespread failure at content delivery network Fastly in early June, dozens of websites, including Target, the New York Times, and a UK government website, went down for around 50 minutes. Airlines, banks, stock exchanges, and trading platforms all experienced brief outages ten days later, according to Akamai, which blamed the outages on a bug in a service that helps mitigate distributed denial-of-service attacks.
Major website and app outages occur on a regular basis and usually do not last long. Multiple redundancies and a global network of backup servers are built into Internet service providers, content delivery networks, and other hosting services to reduce disruptions when things go wrong. However, some experts have warned about the dangers of the internet’s reliance on a small number of core infrastructure providers in light of recent outages.