Outages seem to have become a frequent occurrence. Yesterday it was food delivery giant Zomato that suffered an outage, and this time, major websites, apps, and services were disrupted in an outage at Akamai, an internet security firm providing networking and content delivery services to companies. However, the issue has now been resolved and the affected sites have come back online.
Some of the websites affected by the outage include UPS, FedEx, American Express, airlines Delta and Southwest, financial sites Charles Schwab, US Bank, and Fidelity, HBO Max, Costco, EA, PlayStation Network, Capital One, and tech companies Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. The disruption lasted for nearly an hour as users were unable to reach the sites.
Akamai reported an issue with its Edge DNS service, which is designed to keep websites, services, and apps running smoothly and securely and protect them from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Reports on Downdetector began to spike around 12 pm ET.
“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 said at about 12:45 pm ET, adding that they were actively investigating the issue.
By about 12:50 p.m. ET, the situation was resolved and the issue was fixed.
Akamai confirmed that it was not a result of a cyberattack on its platform and apologized for the inconvenience.
DNS, Or Domain Name System is known for translating human-readable domain names to machine-readable domain names. In other words, it determines the right IP addresses to use when people try to go to individual websites. Thus it becomes a matter of concern when there is a problem related to Edge DNS since it affects all the services and websites that are reliant on it.
It basically acts as a map for the internet. Every page on the world wide web has an IP address, which is how a computer gains access to it. However, it will become tedious to remember the IP address of every website you visit, and thus, companies buy domain names like “google.com” that are easier to remember. Then, the DNS maps “google.com” to its relative IP address, and voila, you are ready to search away.
You may remember the Fastly CDN outage back in June, which had brought down major websites including Amazon, Spotify, Reddit, and Twitter. The DNS outage is a similar issue.
According to network intelligence company ThousandEyes, the scope of the (brief) outage “impacted many sites and applications ranging from gaming sites to major banks, airlines and more that leverage the Akamai CDN service.”
Akamai confirmed it, saying that a software configuration update triggered a bug in the DNS system, the system that directed browsers to websites. This caused a disruption impacting the availability of some customer websites. Upon rolling back the software configuration update, the services resumed normal operations.