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Akamai Blames Outage on DDoS Protection Service

CDN, cybersecurity and cloud services provider Akamai has blamed an outage that occurred on Thursday on an issue with its Prolexic DDoS attack protection service.

Akamai’s Prolexic Routed is a fully managed service designed to protect an organization’s online assets against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

A problem with the service caused the websites of many major companies to become inaccessible. According to various media reports, the outage impacted financial institutions in Australia, including Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac, U.S. airlines, including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, as well as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and organizations in other parts of the world.

Akamai said the outage started at 4:20 AM UTC and the service was restored by 8:47 AM UTC. The company noted that only customers using its Routed 3.0 service were impacted, and they should have received an error alert seconds after the issue was detected.

“Many of the approximately 500 customers using this service were automatically rerouted, which restored operations within a few minutes. The large majority of the remaining customers manually rerouted shortly thereafter,” the company said in a statement released after the problem was addressed.

“The issue was not caused by a system update or a cyberattack,” Akamai clarified. “A routing table value used by this particular service was inadvertently exceeded. The effect was an unanticipated disruption of service.”

The company has taken steps to prevent such incidents and it’s working to ensure that all customers are automatically rerouted in the future.

The incident came roughly a week after another CDN, Fastly, suffered a global outage caused by a software bug triggered by a specific customer configuration. Fastly moved quickly to address the issue, but the outage hit many major websites, including the ones of news organizations (The Guardian, CNN, The New York Times), streaming services (Hulu, HBO Max, Spotify), and others (Amazon, eBay, Reddit, Pinterest).

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.