VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – After website outages were reported around the world Thursday morning, the company at the centre of it all is reassuring the public their personal information is not at risk.
Customers complained of issues with accessing their online banking and using apps, including with several Canadian banks, like Scotiabank, BMO, and RBC.
Businesses were also experiencing massive website issues, with people around the world saying they couldn’t get onto sites or log into their accounts. Companies impacted included Airbnb, Air Canada, Southwest Airlines, Playstation Network, and HBO.
Akamai Technologies, which many businesses and organizations rely on as a DNS provider, says the outages were “not a result of a cyberattack on the Akamai platform.”
Akamai confirmed it had implemented a fix for the service disruption issue, and by Thursday afternoon services had resumed.
Looks like @domvogel was correct in assessment — company at heart of today's internet issues confirms this wasn't a cyberattack. Some sites still experiencing problems but Akamai says a fix is in place. https://t.co/V9PPOMQeHw
— Martin MacMahon (@martinmacmahon) July 22, 2021
Many institutions acknowledged intermittent outages, while others said they weren’t experiencing any.
But concerns over how it happened remain.
Hi there. We're currently aware of an issue affecting our online & mobile banking. While we don't have an ETA, our experts are working to have this corrected as quickly as possible. We'd recommend trying again later today. We appreciate your patience. ^SB
— RBC (@RBC) July 22, 2021
Hi Valerie. We are aware of a technical issue, and we apologize for the inconvenience. We know how important accessing your account is. Rest assured that we are working to get things back online as quickly as possible. Your understanding and patience is appreciated.
— BMO (@BMO) July 22, 2021
Just tried to log into my Scotiabank app and no dice.
— Rob Freeman #TeamDoublePfizer (@robfreemanYYJ) July 22, 2021
With many posts on social media saying that they experienced outages affecting banks in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K.
National Bank / Banque Nationale too!
— Luis Gutiérrez – Via Visible (@ViaVisible) July 22, 2021
While there’s no word on exactly what caused the outages, cybersecurity expert Dominic Vogel provided more details into how this could happen to a DNS provider.
“The non-technical way of describing DNS, think of it almost as a phone book,” he explained. “It’s basically a way to look up where a website lives. So, something has happened there, and if people look for websites, like bmo.com as an example, they are unable to find the address as to where that website lives.”
Vogel says there was definitely a lack of clarity at the onset of the outages. However, he applauds Akamai’s steps to be transparent.
“No need to jump into panic. This stuff does happen and will happen. The internet isn’t always ‘up’ and I think people sometimes forget that there is a mostly fragile infrastructure that does support the internet. So it being down isn’t necessarily reason for concern, but I think it’s important that we check in and see what Akamai is up to and the updates they’re giving throughout the day.”
-With files from Martin MacMahon