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Websites begin to work again after major breakage

Websites begin to work again after major breakage

Websites begin to work again after major breakage

A major outage has affected a number of high profile

websites including Amazon, Reddit and Twitch.

The UK government website – gov.uk – was also down as were

the Financial Times, the Guardian and the New York Times.

Cloud computing provider Fastly, which underpins a lot

of major websites, said it was behind the problems.

The firm said there were issues with its global content

delivery network (CDN) and was implementing a fix.

In a statement, it said: “We identified a service configuration

that triggered disruption across our POPs (points of presence)

globally and have disabled that configuration.

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A POP allows content to be sent from globally distributed

servers that are close to the end use.

“Our global network is coming back online.”

The issues began at around 11am BST and lasted for an hour.

Other affected websites included CNN and streaming sites

Twitch and Hulu. The outage also broke some parts

of other services, including Twitter’s emojis.

Websites were also beginning to be restored,

after around an hour of downtime.

Fastly runs what is known as an “edge cloud”, which is designed

to speed up loading times for websites, as well as protect them

from denial-of-service attacks and help them when traffic is peaking.

It currently looks as if the problems were localized, meaning

specific locations across Europe and the US were affected.

Other websites knocked offline included:

  • PayPal
  • Shopify
  • BBC.com
  • HBO Max
  • Vimeo

Few providers

Similar problems have also affected Amazon Web Services and

Cloudfare in the past, two other huge cloud computing firms.

Some websites managed to find workarounds to the problem,

with tech site The Verge taking to Google Docs to publish

its news, but forgetting to limit those who could write on it,

leading to a series of amusing edits and tweets.

The hashtag “InternetOutage” was soon trending on social

media as more and more broken websites were discovered.

The disruption has led some to question the wisdom of having so

much internet infrastructure in the hands of a few companies.

Jake Moore, a cyber-specialist at security firm ESET said:

“this highlights the importance and significance of these

vast hosting companies and what they represent.”

Adam Smith, a software testing expert with the BCS,

the Chartered Institute for IT, said that outages with content

delivery networks “highlight the growing ecosystem of complex

and coupled components that are involved in delivering internet services”.

“Because of this, outages are increasingly hitting multiple

sites and services at the same time.”

Stephen Gilderdale, senior director at Dell Technologies, said such

outages were bound to occur occasionally

but that they would be rare and brief.

“Cloud providers build in redundancies for such events to give their

users secure access to replicated copies of data.

“In most cases, services are only affected for a short time, and

data is easily retrievable. Far from being a cause of concern,

it shows the resilience of the network that it can recover so quickly.”

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