A massive Internet outage today has downdetector.com covered in warnings for popular websites and services, such as the PlayStation Network, Steam, Fidelity Investments, Airbnb, FedEx, LastPass, UPS, Amazon, and others.
The root cause of the outage appears to be a failure in Akamai’s Edge DNS Service. Its system status page reports that Akamai is aware of “an emerging issue with the Edge DNS service”—one downgraded to “Minor Service Outage,” with no further explanation as of press time.
— Matthew Prince ? (@eastdakota) July 22, 2021
According to Akamai, a fix has been implemented, and Edge DNS is “resuming normal operations.” Akamai also states that the unspecified issue “was not a result of a cyberattack on the Akamai platform,” although there’s no word so far on what the issue actually was or what caused it.
The volume of large-scale Internet outages seems only to be increasing, with some of the world’s largest sites often the most heavily impacted. Today’s outage resulted from a DNS failure rather than a content delivery network failure—but it underscores an important point.
The Internet was originally designed to be decentralized and fault-resistant—but as the world’s biggest sites and services coalesce around a few massive infrastructure providers, failures at those providers have increasingly significant effects on the Internet ecosystem as a whole.