Massive online outages in recent internet history

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jun 18, 2021, 12:50 PM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The more the internet becomes increasingly centralised, the more vulnerable it is to catastrophic breakdowns 

The internet has become an irreplaceable tool across most of the globe, serving as the backbone of commercial operations and e-commerce, worldwide news and social media commentary, as well as health and public welfare. 

We take the internet for granted when it functions well. It's similar to breathing. We don't think about it, or the procedure that goes on behind the scenes. 

But once it stops working, then we realise the authority of its presence in our daily life. The internet is becoming more and more centralised. As a result, it has become more vulnerable to catastrophic breakdowns.

Here is the list of the worst server outages in recent internet history:

Dyn Cyberattack of 2016

This catastrophe impacted people across two continents, including the United States and Europe, as well as popular platforms like Airbnb, Amazon, BBC, CNN, eBay, Netflix, and Twitter. Multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults attacked Dyn's Managed Domain Name System (DNS) service. 

British Airways IT failure of 2017

The whole of British Airways fleet was grounded in 2017 due to a huge IT failure, disrupting the travel plans of thousands of passengers not only in the UK but all over the world who were intending to board a British Airways flight. 

Microsoft Azure cloud outage of 2018

Microsoft is one of the firms that offer Azure cloud servers as a platform for app development. However on June 20, 2018, the large cloud company's fortunes took a turn for the worse. In a nightmare scenario, a human error at one of Microsoft's data centres in Dublin, Ireland, resulted in an 11-hour outage. 

Facebook server outage of 2019

While Facebook and its services have endured countless outages over the years, the one on March 13, 2019, was by far the worst, affecting 7.5 million people, according to DownDetector. People with Facebook services were disrupted for nearly a day and a half, according to Downdetector. 

Google Server Crash of 2020

The world saw Google services break down in December 2020, resulting in a global outage of important services such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Meet, and others. All this when millions were working from home during the Covid pandemic. An examination eventually discovered that the problem was caused by a storage quota issue within the company. 

June 8, 2021: Fastly glitch causes a global internet outage

Websites of several global media groups, international organisations, the White House as well as internet giants including Amazon, Reddit, Twitch, Github, Shopify and Spotify were  affected by this outage. The issue was traced to a problem with Fastly, a cloud computing service provider employed by several of these companies. The glitch was caused by an undiscovered bug, according to Fastly's blog.

June 17, 2021: Many US airlines and Australian banks hit by online outage

A glitch with tech company Akamai prompted a global web outage affecting major institutions and airlines. According to the monitoring site Downdetector, many corporations' websites experienced online failures all across the world.

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