A huge online outage caused several large services to go offline on July 22, but that is largely over, with Downdetector reporting a sharp drop in the number of reported outages.
Many major services and sites have been affected – the list includes the popular gaming platforms Steam and PlayStation Network, many popular multiplayer video games like Call of Duty, Fortnite, various EA games (including FIFA) and Warframe, banks like USA Bank and Barclays, and other sites like AT&T, Sony Direct, John Lewis, FedEx – the list, frankly, went on.
Some of these services were only affected in certain regions, or not for all users – for example, TechRadar team members could access McDonalds under certain circumstances, and could play games that were already downloaded and use the network on Steam, but not access the store on the website or the app itself.
These systems would all use Akamai’s cloud delivery network, which appeared to be experiencing outages. A system status update released by the company, however, indicates that the issues have been resolved.
What was affected?
PlayStation was arguably the hardest hit, and many services were down including Now, Video, online games, app, downloads, social, store purchases and more.
On Downdetector, Fornite reportedly increased the number of outages, but the number of reports was significantly lower than some of the aforementioned services – it is likely that the outages were regional and not global, at least under these circumstances.
However, McDonalds did not appear to be affected in our testing – it is possible that the outage did not fully affect the services of all websites. Also, some Steam users could have accessed the games, although the Steam app and the website itself appear to be down.
Many American sites like FedEx, UPS, Home Depot, Fidelity, Southwest Airlines, USAA, Newegg, US Bank, Discover, AT&T, Costco and Delta suffered from the outage.
Many other UK services have reportedly been down like HSBC, John Lewis, Sky Bet, Waitrose, Halifax, TSB Bank, Lloyds Bank and Barclays – this is a list with many banks online, which can be worrying for some, but services seem to have resumed. now.
Amazon Web Services was also reportedly down, which affected websites that use the service. Other services that would temporarily fail include UPS, Nvidia, Now TV, Epic Games Store, and Warframe.
So what happened?
It’s unclear exactly why, but mainstream content delivery network Akamai has suffered a temporary outage, which means the websites it serves – including all of those listed above – are temporarily offline.
According to Akamai’s tweet, a software configuration update was to blame, but it was rolled back to mitigate the outage:
Akamai Summarizes Service Outages (RESOLVED) At 3:46 PM UTC today, a software configuration update triggered a bug in DNS, the system that directs browsers to websites. This caused an interruption affecting the availability of some customer websites. (1/3)July 22, 2021
Could it happen again?
Akamai says it will “continue to monitor to make sure the impact has been fully mitigated” – you can read the full statement on an analysis of the event on TechRadar Pro.
So, fingers crossed, we’ve seen the worst – but save your work, so to speak, just in case.
A similar problem occurred in April when Google services were all discontinued, and in June when CDN Fastly saw outages that took Amazon, Reddit, eBay and more offline. Apparently the whole Internet is on a foundation that is far too weak, so when a CDN collapses, everything falls.