Amazon, Tesco Bank, Waitrose and the NHS app were all taken offline yesterday as widespread internet outages hit millions of users.
The NHS app, now notorious amid the ongoing ‘pingdemic’ crisis, alongside major banking and retail apps were among thousands of services brought down for nearly an hour yesterday evening.
Tesco Bank, Sainsbury’s bank alongside financial giants like HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, American Express and TSB were all affected by the outages, while retailers like Amazon and its Amazon Web Services arm, Waitrose and Home Depot also went offline.
It is the second major internet outage in two months, following a similar incident on June 8 in which a number of major retail websites were down for around an hour.
Dubbed ‘the hour the internet broke’ retailers including Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Shopify and Boots are understood to have lost a collective £1 billion in revenues.
This outage, which also affected streaming services and gaming platforms like Steam and PlayStation Network, is understood to be traced to the world’s largest content delivery network Akamai.
Akamai issued a statement on its website at around 5pm yesterday saying it was “aware of an emerging issue with the Edge DNS service. We are actively investigating the issue.”
At 5:47pm Akamai tweeted: “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.”
The increasing number of outages have spurred some MPs to call for online infrastructure to be beefed up to avoid similar situations.
In June, Conservative MP and chair of the the all-party parliamentary group for cyber security Simon Fell, said: “This incident shows just how reliant we are on a few big providers to host and enable access to content online.
“Thankfully today’s outage was brief, but the Government and National Cyber Security Centre should take this incident as an urgent prompt to review how to build-in resilience to infrastructure just as critical as our physical transport networks or even our broadcast media.
“Single points of failure put us at risk not just to error and unexpected downtime, but also show where we are vulnerable to cyber-attacks or warfare. It is time to take heed and act.”