On Thursday, after cloud computing company Akamai stated that it had been experiencing “service incidents,” thousands of websites and digital services around the world were unavailable.

Akamai, a Massachusetts-based company whose services operate behind the scenes to keep most of the Internet up and running, stated on its website that it “was aware of a new problem with the Edge DNS service.”

DNS stands for Domain Name System. Broadly speaking, it is a way for computers to read Internet protocols or IP addresses and convert them into words that humans can read.

The affected website fails to load and displays various DNS-related service errors.

“We are aware of a new issue with the Edge DNS service,” Akamai said on its website.

“We are actively investigating this issue,” Akamai said, adding that the outage was not caused by a cyber attack.

Shortly after 1pm Eastern Time, the company stated on Twitter that it believed it had resolved the issue. “We have implemented a fix for this issue, and based on current observations, the service is returning to normal operations. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact is fully mitigated.”

Airlines, banks, technology companies are affected

But the report shows that tens of thousands of company websites and applications, including airlines, banks, technology companies and retailers, continue to be disrupted.

Pingdom is a service that monitors global Internet traffic. It reports that more than 34,000 sites were shut down for various reasons. As of 1 p.m. Eastern Time, more than 18,000 people are still offline, and nearly 200 of them are in Canada.

Just a month ago, a similar DNS problem occurred in Fastly, a network service company, which destroyed thousands of websites and caused US$2 billion in economic losses.

Watch | How fast is it breaking the Internet:

A failure of a cloud-based technology company called Fastly paralyzed Amazon, Reddit and other parts of the Internet, and the company lost an estimated $2 billion. But experts say that the power outage may cause even greater disasters. 1:59

Downdetector, a website that monitors online power outage reports, reported a surge in complaints against dozens of Canadian companies on Thursday.

The website reads: “Reports indicate that Akamai may experience widespread outages, which may affect your services.”


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