Akamai Technologies apologises after several high-profile websites hit by outages

Akamai Technologies, a content delivery company, has apologised after a software update in its services caused several websites to go down.

Sites including Barclays, HSBC, British Airways and Airbnb were affected, but service was restored shortly afterwards.

In its apology, Akamai said: “At 15:46 UTC today, a software configuration update triggered a bug in the DNS system, the system that directs browsers to websites. This caused a disruption impacting availability of some customer websites.

We apologize for the inconvenience that resulted. We are reviewing our software update process to prevent future disruptions. (3/3)

— Akamai Technologies (@Akamai) July 22, 2021

“The disruption lasted up to an hour. Upon rolling back the software configuration update, the services resumed normal operations. Akamai can confirm this was not a cyberattack against Akamai’s platform.

“We apologise for the inconvenience that resulted. We are reviewing our software update process to prevent future disruptions.”

During the outage, a message on the BA website read: “Service Unavailable – DNS failure. The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later.”

And a message on Airbnb’s site said: “This site can’t be reached.”

HSBC’s website had a similar message.

There were reports other airlines and major companies are also affected, as well as the 911 service on the east coast of the US.

Akamai logo

Akamai has apologised for the incident

Edge DNS is a content delivery network (CDN), providing a similar service to Cloudflare, Amazon CloudFront or Fastly.

CDNs speed up the internet by keeping copies of websites’ data in various locations around the world, so computers do not have to wait for long periods of time to talk to sites on the other side of the world.

Last month, large parts of the internet went down when CDN Fastly began experiencing issues.

US-based Fastly said the issues on 8 June were down to an “undiscovered software bug” in its system which was triggered by a single unnamed customer who updated their settings.

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