Sydney: A major online disruption that has hit banking and airline websites on both sides of the Pacific has not been caused by a cyber attack, the technology provider responsible said on Friday. In a statement, Akamai, which is based in the USA, said that about 500 of its customers were beaten short on Thursday due to a problem with one of its online security products. The disruption affected American, Delta, United and Southwest Airlines and most of the largest banks in Australia, and customers did not have access to websites and mobile applications. Akamai said the issue was resolved in just over four hours, although most sites experienced issues for about an hour. “The problem was not caused by a system update or a cyber attack,” Akamai said, adding that the problem was limited to a problem with the data routing that has now been fixed. This is the latest incident to draw attention to the stability of economically essential online platforms and the key role that a handful of “CDN” content delivery networks play in keeping the web afloat.
Last week, US media and government websites, including the White House, New York Times, Reddit and Amazon, were temporarily hit after a problem with the cloud computing service provider Fastly. Quickly offer a service to speed up loading times for websites. Akamai offers a range of similar IT products designed to enhance online performance and security. The firm said that this problem was linked to a product that prevents DDoS attacks – an often gross cyber attack that eliminates websites by providing them with data. “Many of the approximately 500 customers who use this service have been automatically redirected, recovering within minutes,” the company said. “The vast majority of the remaining customers were redirected by hand shortly thereafter.”