Thousands of websites like CNN, BBC, Amazon and Reddit, among many others, are down

During the early hours of this Tuesday thousands of users discovered that some of the most popular websites around the world were out of service or did not load properly due to an interruption linked to an unknown cause.

Users report that when trying to access the affected websites, “Connection Error”, “IO Error” and even HTTP code 503 messages appear.

According to preliminary reports, some of the platforms affected by this incident are:

  • Amazon y Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • CNN
  • GOV.UK
  • GitHub
  • Heroku
  • Reddit
  • Shopify
  • StackOverflow
  • TechRadar
  • The Verge
  • TomsGuide

For obvious reasons, this list does not include all affected platforms, as in the course of the morning glitches were reported on many other popular platforms. Users of websites like Amazon or Github experience small glitches, such as incomplete uploading of avatars, JavaScript files, and CSS style sheets. One thing these files share is that they are probably all hosted on a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

This is an important fact considering that all the affected platforms use the Fastly CDN cloud services system, so the first hypotheses of the cybersecurity community pointed to a flaw in this platform. According to the description on its website, this cloud platform allows its customers to create advanced digital deployments quickly and securely through the processing, services and security of web applications to deliver a satisfying experience to end users.

The hypotheses were confirmed around 10:00 AM (local time) when Fastly posted a brief statement on its website confirming the detection of “a problem with potential impact on the performance of CDN services.” Shortly afterwards the company updated its message mentioning that the problem had already been identified and addressed, so the affected services should get back to normal.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.