Major banking and gaming websites were temporarily taken offline on Thursday following a disruption at content delivery network (CDN) provider Akamai.
Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays, Tesco Bank, Sainsbury’s Bank, Bank of Scotland and Morgan Stanley’s websites and banking apps were all temporarily unavailable, while PlayStation’s online gaming network and gaming service Steam, LastPass password storage service, Asos and British Airways’ sites also displayed “DNS failure” messages.
Akamai supplies its customer companies with a CDN, a distributed platform of servers designed to ensure webpages and content including audio streams, online games, video and images load more quickly and efficiently.
When working correctly, they can improve a website’s loading time and security while reducing the cost of bandwidth, meaning organisations are able to pay less to host websites.
An issue with its DNS system, that directs web browsers to websites, meant visitors across the world were met with ‘DNS failure’ messages when attempting to access games Fifa, Call of Duty and shooter Warframe and postage companies UPS and FedEx among others.
Akamai said the issue was not a result of a cyber attack against its platform, but a bug in its system provoked by a system update.
“A software configuration update triggered a bug in the DNS system, the system that directs browsers to websites,” the company tweeted on Thursday. “This caused a disruption impacting availability of some customer websites.
The disruption lasted roughly an hour. Upon rolling back the software configuration update, the services resumed normal operations.”
Akamai said it was reviewing its software update process to prevent future disruptions, adding that it apologised for any inconvenience.
The outage comes just weeks after a similar issue with Fastly, another CDN provider.
Visitors to Amazon, Reddit, PayPal, The Guardian, The Financial Times and UK Government websites, among others, were met with error messages for around an hour on 9 June.
An undiscovered software bug caused around 85 per cent of Fastly’s network to display error messages, said Nick Rockwell, the company’s senior vice president of engineering and infrastructure, adding that 95 per cent of the network was up and running again within 49 minutes of its engineers being alerted to the problem.