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Massive Internet Outage Hits Thousands Of Big-Name Retailers

NEWS - WWETV Administration

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Thousands of websites and digital services around the world were unavailable on Thursday after cloud computing company Akamai experienced what it called a “service incident.”

Akamai, a Massachusetts-based company whose services work behind the scenes to keep large portions of the internet functioning, said on its website that it is “aware of an emerging issue with the Edge DNS service.”

DNS stands for Domain Names System, which, broadly speaking, is how Internet Protocol or IP addresses read by computers get translated into words that can be read by humans.

DNS services guard against attacks

Typically, a DNS service is what keeps websites up and running when they are under siege from malicious third parties trying to overwhelm them by sending a huge flood of traffic to them all at once.

Some sites still down despite fix

A little after 1 p.m. ET, the company said on Twitter that it had fixed the problem.

“We have implemented a fix for this issue, and based on current observations, the service is resuming normal operations. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact has been fully mitigated.”

But reports suggest tens of thousands of company websites and apps continue to be disrupted, including airlines, banks, technology companies and retailers.

Pingdom, a service that monitors global internet traffic, reported that more than 34,000 sites were down for various reasons at one point. As of 1 p.m. ET, more than 18,000 were still offline, including almost 200 in Canada.

Barely a month ago, a similar DNS issue at web services company Fastly also wiped out thousands of websites and cost $2 billion in economic losses.

CBS New York reports on the outage below.