US Internet service provider Akamai clarified today, Friday, that the global network failure that affected banks and airlines yesterday, particularly in Australia and the United States, was not caused by a cyberattack, and the company indicated in a statement. According to Sky News, 500 of its private customers were denied internet access because of a problem with one of their network security products.
The outage affected the airlines “American Airlines”, “Delta Airlines”, “United Airlines” and “Southwest Airlines”, with most major Australian banks denying their customers access to websites and applications.
According to Akamai, the issue was resolved in about 4 hours, but most websites were not affected for only an hour.
The company explained that “the crash was not caused by a system update or cyber attack,” noting that the cause was a data routing issue and that “it has been fixed.”
Akamai said, “Most of the approximately 500 customers who used this service were automatically forwarded, allowing their operations to resume within minutes.”
The outage is the latest of its kind to raise concerns about the stability of Internet platforms critical to the economy, and about the essential role that some companies, most of which are unknown to the public, play in the operation of the network. .
A brief wave of internet shutdowns hit the websites and apps of dozens of financial institutions, airlines and other companies around the world on Thursday morning, the Associated Press reports.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange said in a post on Twitter Thursday afternoon local time that its site was experiencing technical problems and that it was investigating the matter, and 17 minutes later in another post said its websites had returned to normal.
Internet monitoring sites including Down Dictator showed dozens of outages, including by US-based airlines, and several outages were reported by people in Australia who tried to do banking and book flights to access services.
Australia Post, the country’s postal service, said on Twitter that an external outage had affected many of its services, and while most services were back, they were still being monitored and investigated.
After about an hour most of the services were back. However, the affected companies said that they are working round the clock to prevent further problems.
Banking services in Australia including the Reserve Bank of Australia website were severely disrupted. Most of the services have been restored.
Virgin Australia said it was one of several organizations that experienced an outage to the Akamai content delivery system today, and said they are working with them to ensure that such outages do not happen again. Necessary measures should be taken to prevent this.
Akamai, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, provides Internet services to some of the world’s largest companies and banks.
On the other hand, the websites of major US airlines, “American Airlines”, “Southwest Airlines”, “United Airlines” and “Delta Airlines”, were down.
According to Russia Today, reports indicated there were problems with Southwest Airlines, more than 400 reports indicating the Delta Air Lines website was down, and 300 reports about two other airlines’ websites.
Southwest canceled nearly 300 flights on Wednesday, and more than 500 were delayed after being forced to temporarily halt operations due to a technical fault.
The US Federal Aviation Administration said Southwest Airlines has canceled flights because of a problem with its reservation system.
The Internet has come to a halt more than a week after the websites of the world’s biggest news organizations were briefly downed due to a software problem with Fastly, another major Internet service provider. The company attributed it to a software bug that was released when a customer changed the settings. It was among the affected sites CNN The Financial Times, The Guardian and The New York Times, as well as the websites of the British Government.
Brief Internet outages are not uncommon, and are rarely the result of hacking or other types of damage, but outages highlight how important a small number of companies behind the scenes are to the operation of the Internet.