Akamai Outage Pulls Major Sites Offline Globally

By | July 23, 2021

An outage at Akamai turned the lights off at the websites of many of the world’s biggest and most important sites Thursday morning, rendering them completely unreachable.
There were no messages or error codes to indicate why sites were down so site visitors were left in the dark just like the websites they were trying to visit.
The cause was the Akamai Edge and GTM service was experiencing an outage that took down some of the most popular websites in the world, bringing banking, gaming and news websites to a standstill.
Major Akamai Outage Takes Down Major Sites
News websites, banks, travel sites and major gaming sites were reported by users to be down.

https://t.co/s6YjmCiPkv is currently down. We’re investigating the cause and will post an update here once the issue has been resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience.
— Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) July 22, 2021

This is causing a huge outage all over Europe and the US. In the Netherlands none of the major banks are reachable. Nobody can do any online payments at the moment. Hopefully this is resolved quickly.
— Ramonster (@hellbringer20) July 22, 2021

A slew of different online services are currently down, including PlayStation Network, Steam, and Fortnite. https://t.co/ktCwTYsKPb pic.twitter.com/eXNPy2wkd3
— IGN (@IGN) July 22, 2021

Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The purpose of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is to deliver websites fast to users from data servers located near the site visitor trying to reach a website.

CDNs also provide a layer of security and defense against hackers and other malicious actors who might try to bring down a site.
CDNs however are increasingly experience temporary failures resulting thousands of sites going offline.
According to the DownDetector site availability website, Akamai CDN Service has experienced a number of outages.
The Akamai website itself hasn’t acknowledged some of the outages noted by that site although it did post an update about the one from today.
Aside from the outage today it most recently went down on June 17, 2021 and the year before on July 17, 2020.
Akamai Reported Outage
The outage began at approximately 9 to 10 AM eastern time

Akamai reported an issue sometime after 12 noon eastern time via Twitter:

“Akamai is experiencing a service disruption. We are actively investigating the issue and will provide an update in 30 minutes.”

Then 15 minutes later tweeted that they had found a fix for the problem:

“We have implemented a fix for this issue, and based on current observations, the service is resuming normal operations. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact has been fully mitigated.”

We have implemented a fix for this issue, and based on current observations, the service is resuming normal operations. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact has been fully mitigated.
— Akamai Technologies (@Akamai) July 22, 2021

Akamai confirmed in a subsequent tweet that the outage was not due to malicious activities against it.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation and can confirm this was not a result of a cyberattack on the Akamai platform.”

An official status report on the Akamai website itself states that the problem has been mitigated.

“Edge DNS Service Incident
Incident Report for Akamai Edge DNS and GTM
ResolvedThis incident has been mitigated.”

Other than that there is no word what the problem was about, whether it was related to an update, hardware failure or simple human error.
It’s ironic that a web service meant to keep a website online turns out to be the one to take so many websites down, far more than any hacking event.

There was a 340% increase in web attacks against gaming in 2020. https://t.co/W3vrMyiJ6K pic.twitter.com/zyD6pGhR6K
— Akamai Technologies (@Akamai) July 22, 2021