Major websites affected by brief outages

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Many major websites crashed Thursday afternoon after a major Internet service provider reported an issue with its internal systems.

The websites of a number of companies appeared to be affected, including Southwest and Delta airlines; financial giants Schwab, American Express, Chase, Discover and Fidelity; and home improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s.

The cause appears to have been an issue with Akamai, a widely used Internet service company based in Massachusetts. Just after noon, the company published on his website that he was struggling to resolve his domain name service, the Internet “phone book” that directs URLs to digital web addresses.

The issue was resolved just after 1 p.m. EST, the company said.

Akamai’s problem shows how fragile a consistent internet service can be, where a setback in a large corporation can translate into problems for millions of users. Previous internet outages have also been attributed to problems at Akamai and other internet service companies.

A spokesperson for Akami said the outages were due to a software update that “triggered a bug in the DNS system, the system that directs browsers to websites” and was not due to a malicious activity.

“This caused a disruption affecting the availability of some customer websites,” the company said. “The interruption lasted up to an hour. After canceling the software configuration update, the services resumed normal operations. Akamai can confirm that this was not a cyber attack against the Akamai platform.


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