Major websites including GOV.UK and Amazon return after 'wider internet outage'

8 June 2021, 16:39

A group of major websites, including the New York Times and Buzzfeed, have crashed
A group of major websites, including the New York Times and Buzzfeed, have crashed. Picture: Fastly
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Dozens of major websites, including GOV.UK and Amazon, crashed earlier due to a "wider internet outage".

Problems began at around 11am and saw an "Error 503 Service Unavailable" message appear on many sites.

News outlets including the BBC, New York Times, Guardian, Buzzfeed, Independent and the Financial Times were among those affected, as well as Reddit and PayPal.

Streaming outlets, including Twitch and Spotify, were also hit by the outage, as well as image sharing sites Pinterest and Giphy.

Fastly - an American cloud computing services provider - said the problem was linked to issues with its global content delivery network (CDN) and it had addressed the issue.

It said in a statement: "We identified a service configuration that triggered disruption across our POPs (points of presence) globally and have disabled that configuration.

"Our global network is coming back online."

Millions of internet users in the US and Europe have been met with an "Error 503" message
Millions of internet users in the US and Europe have been met with an "Error 503" message. Picture: Fastly

LBC Tech Correspondent Will Guyatt said earlier: "Something has gone fairly wrong this morning. I'm not standing here suggesting it's a hack yet but I think something's been unplugged - quite simple as that."

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We are aware of the issues with gov.uk which means many users are unable to access the site.

"Obviously this happened recently, it appears to be a wider issue, a global issue, and as you would expect Cabinet Office are investigating it as a matter of urgency."

Asked whether there was any evidence it was a hostile act, he added: "It appears to be, initially at least, this is an issue that is affecting a number of sites globally, it doesn't appear to be targeted to any one site."

Some sites reportedly switched providers as a quick fix to the problem.

Websites began returning to normal service just before midday.

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