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Websites go down briefly in widespread outage

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | July 23, 2021 at 2:01 a.m.

Major websites went down Thursday in what appeared to be a brief but widespread outage.

The websites of Airbnb, AT&T, Costco, UPS, USAA, Home Depot, HBO Max and many others showed error messages around midday. They seemed to be operating normally, however, by 11:45 a.m.

The disruption lasted about an hour and that it was caused by a software update in the system that directs browsers to websites, according to an announcement from Akamai, a major behind-the-scenes internet network company. It noted there was no cyberattack.

Akamai disclosed it was reviewing how it updates software to try to prevent outages in the future.

According to its website, Delta Airlines was experiencing "temporary technical issues." DraftKings acknowledged at around noon that its site was down.

Southwest Airlines, which was among the sites reporting outages in June, announced the company was working on fixing the problem.

"Our Tech Team has been made aware of the issues our customers are encountering on Southwest.com and we'll get it back up and running ASAP," the company tweeted. "We appreciate your patience and understanding in the meantime!"

PlayStation Network games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty also were temporarily down. Other sites took to Twitter to assure customers that their services would be restored.

The disruption comes more than a month after two outages struck large swaths of the internet.

The June 8 outage, which affected sites like The New York Times, Amazon and Hulu, appeared related to the San Francisco cloud services provider Fastly, which many companies use to help their websites load faster.

Then, on June 17, multiple airlines, banking institutions and trading platforms went down. United Airlines and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia were among those reporting outages, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange also faced technical issues.

Much like Thursday's outage, the service disruption stemmed from a failure at Akamai. The company previously said that outage was due to a bug in a service used to mitigate distributed denial-of-service attacks.

Though outages at content delivery networks and Internet service providers generally get resolved rapidly, these disruptions -- which have come amid pandemic-era shifts in people's online habits -- continue to underscore how these incidents can bring huge parts of internet life to a halt.

Information for this article was contributed by Tali Arbel of The Associated Press and by Timothy Bella of The Washington Post.

Print Headline: Websites go down briefly in widespread outage

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