Major websites recover after widespread outage

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Major Websites Recover After Widespread Outage
US firm Fastly, a content delivery network, said it had suffered an issue. Photo: PA
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By Jamie Harris and Martyn Landi, PA

A number of major websites are back online following a widespread outage that left many unable to access critical services.

The Irish Times was among a raft of sites affected just before 11am on Tuesday, as well as international news publishers including The Guardian and Independent, and social platforms such as Reddit.

The incident has been linked to the US firm Fastly, which helps speed up loading times by storing versions of a company’s website in local servers, meaning less data has to be transferred from long distances.

News websites knocked offline were forced to report on the situation via Twitter.

The outage has also led to questions of whether the internet is too reliant on a few companies to stay online.

“It is remarkable that within 10 minutes, one outage can send the world into chaos,” said Prof Mark Rodbert, visiting professor in computer science at the University of York and founder of cybersecurity firm Idax Software.

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“This demonstrates the extent to which the move to the cloud has changed the things that companies need to protect.

“Whether the people inside a company or a supplier have made a mistake, or malicious perpetrators outside the perimeter have created the problem, it’s so important that we create firebreaks in the system so that if one company, or even just one well-connected employee, is compromised, the whole system isn’t brought to its knees.”

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Fastly said it had applied a fix just after 11.30am Irish time, though many sites continued to experience slow loading issues.

The exact cause is yet to be revealed.

The firm tweeted: “Fastly has observed recovery of all services and has resolved this incident.”

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