The websites of the UK government and some of the largest news organisations around the world, from CNN to Bloomberg, shut down on Tuesday.
The widespread outage was caused by a disruption at the US-based cloud service company Fastly.
Visitors trying to access CNN.com got a message that said: “Fastly error: unknown domain: cnn.com.”
Attempts to access the Financial Times website turned up a similar message while visits to the New York Times and UK government’s gov.uk site returned an “Error 503 Service Unavailable” message, along with the line “Varnish cache server,” which is a technology that Fastly is built on.
Fastly runs a content delivery network that pushes data quickly around the internet so businesses can help consumers shop online or watch videos on apps and websites.
Most of Fastly’s coverage areas were facing “Degraded Performance”, the website showed.
“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” the company said.
It added that the disruption issue was identified and being fixed.
Not all of its customers appeared to be affected and several websites restored service relatively quickly. Shopify and Stripe’s websites were available on Tuesday.
Other websites affected by the outage included The Guardian, Financial Times, Independent, New York Times, Evening Standard, Bloomberg and Le Monde as well as Reddit, eBay and Twitch.
The UK government’s Digital Service said they were aware of the issue affecting their websites as well as others around the world and were investigating.
Amazon’s retail websites across the globe were also down with users unable to load the sites.
The outage was initially believed to be caused by an issue with Amazon Web Services, but the company did not report any disruptions.
Fastly is one of a number of high-level website and application hosting services that large enterprises use to serve content to millions of users simultaneously. Rather than hosting all website content on a single set of servers in one location, Fastly puts cloud infrastructure in dozens of locations to let people download from a server closest to them.
This is a developing story…