August 1, 2021

Global internet blackout cripples major Australian banks and airlines

New global outage of online services. The main banks of Australia, as well as airlines of this country but also of the United States, appear Thursday, June 17 among the victims of this blackout, of which the responsibility was attributed to the American service provider Akamai.

This technical incident, which lasted an hour and affected businesses all over the world, caused dissatisfaction with customers who could not access the websites and mobile applications of these establishments. “We are aware of the problem and are actively working to restore services as soon as possible”, said an Akamai spokesperson.

American, Delta, United and Southwest Airlines were among the victims. Their respective sites appeared to be functioning normally shortly thereafter. The disruptions have, it seems, lasted longer in Australia, where the problems arose in the middle of the afternoon when much of the rest of the world was asleep. Online services returned to normal an hour after the first reports.

Also listen Giant outage on the web: is the network robust enough?

“Connectivity restored quickly”

Australia’s largest financial institution, the Commonwealth Bank, said it had been hit, along with many other major banks in the country. The blackouts, which began around 2:10 p.m. Sydney time (7:10 a.m. PST), also disrupted the Australian postal service and airline Virgin Australia. The latter had declared “Being one of the many organizations affected by Akamai content delivery system outages”, adding that everything was done to ensure that the situation does not happen again.

A spokesperson for ANZ Bank claimed the incident was “Linked to an external supplier”, more than “Connectivity was quickly restored and the most affected services were back online”. Westpac and ME Bank also reported problems with their mobile applications or online banking products.

Key role of a handful of companies

The outage is the latest incident to draw attention to the potential instability of online platforms, vital to the economy, as well as the key role played by a handful of companies, mostly unknown to the economy. general public, in the functioning of the Web. A few days earlier, the websites of the US media and government, including those of the White House, the New York Times and Amazon, were temporarily affected by an issue at the American company Fastly. The site of World was also concerned.

Fastly offers website publishers to help them distribute their content internationally, by hosting mirror sites of the original site around the world. Its service – like that of its competitors Akamai, or even Cloudflare… – prevents all requests addressed to an Internet site from converging in the same place by creating traffic jams, and therefore gain in speed.

Read also Fastly, the company whose crash took dozens of major websites offline

The World with AFP