Huge Chunk of the Internet Goes Offline Thanks to One Company

For about an hour, sites like Reddit, CNN, and Gizmodo went down. Fastly, a content delivery network, is to blame.

Illustration for article titled Huge Chunk of the Internet Goes Offline Thanks to One Company
Photo: Michael Bocchieri (Getty Images)

Large chunks of the internet were offline starting shortly before 6:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, including everything from CNN to the British government, in an outage being blamed on Fastly, a content distribution network used by hundreds of high-profile websites. Gizmodo was also down during this morning’s outage.

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Fastly announced at 6:44 a.m. ET that it had identified “the issue” and that a fix was being implemented. It’s not immediately clear what the issue may have been and the company did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

Fastly’s clients include news outlets like CNN, the New York Times, and the Guardian, as well as social media sites like Pinterest, Twitch, and Reddit. The UK Government website was also hit with an outage, which is particularly dangerous because it gives hucksters an opportunity to quickly fill the void and potentially collect information for scams, as Martin Lewis pointed out on Twitter.

Some news outlets tried alternative methods of reporting the news, with the Verge sharing a Google doc on Twitter. The only problem? They forgot to turn off editing. People added their own commentary to the doc, including “everyone can write for Verge now.”

The outage will likely draw attention to how centralized our “decentralized” internet really is—a depressing reminder as ransomware attacks hit at critical infrastructure around the world.

Update, 10:14 a.m. ET: Flatly sent the following statement to Gizmodo via email:

We identified a service configuration that triggered disruptions across our POPs globally and have disabled that configuration. Our global network is coming back online.

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Matt Novak is a senior writer at Gizmodo and founder of Paleofuture.com. He's writing a book about the movies U.S. presidents watched at the White House, Camp David, and on Air Force One.

DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

Large chunks of Gizmodo remain unusable because I CAN’T FIND FUCKING REPLIES!!!!!!