A Major Internet Outage Appears To Have Knocked Down Amazon And Dozens Of Other Sites

The Amazon website is seen on December 5, 2017 in Dandenong, Australia. Amazon was among dozens of sites hit by a massive internet outage on Thursday.
The Amazon website is seen on December 5, 2017 in Dandenong, Australia. Amazon was among dozens of sites hit by a massive internet outage on Thursday.
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Updated July 22, 2021 at 2:22 PM ET

A widespread internet outage caused several major websites to shut down Thursday afternoon, including Amazon, Delta, Capital One and Costco.

It's still unclear what caused the outage, but Akamai, a content distribution network that helps with the spread of data around the internet, posted online there was an "emerging issue" with their Edge DNS service. A DNS, or domain name service, helps match a website's name to its IP address. If the DNS fails, it becomes impossible to search and connect to a website by name.

By approximately 1:13pm ET, the site read "all systems operational."

When reached by NPR, Akamai said, "We have implemented a fix for this issue, and based on current observations, the service is resuming normal operations."

Akamai also confirmed that the outage was not due to a cyber attack.

A similar widespread outage occurred in June when another content delivery network, Fastly, experienced a software bug. Websites like CNN, The New York Times, Twitch and Reddit were down for nearly an hour.

The outages, while temporary, are raising concerns about the number of websites that rely on just a few content delivery networks like Fastly and Akamai, creating a more fragile internet ecosystem.

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