Major websites hit by brief outages

Many major websites experienced outages Thursday afternoon after a major internet services provider reported a problem with its internal systems.

The websites of a number of companies appeared to be affected, including airlines Southwest and Delta; financial giants Schwab, American Express, Chase, Discover and Fidelity; and home improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s.

The cause appeared to have been a problem with Akamai, a widely used internet services company based in Massachusetts. Just after noon, the company posted on its site that it was having trouble with resolving its domain name service, the internet “phone book” that directs URLs to numeric web addresses.

The issue was resolved just after 1 p.m. Eastern, the company said.

The problem at Akamai highlights how fragile consistent internet service can be, where a hiccup at one major company can trickle down to problems for millions of users. Previous internet outages have also been traced back to problems at Akamai and other internet services companies.

The company didn’t immediately respond to a question about whether the outage could have been caused by a malicious actor, but DNS issues are common for internet connectivity companies.

Akamai said on Twitter later that it had “implemented a fix for this issue” and that it appeared “the service is resuming normal operations,” but the company did not disclose what issues may have caused the major outage. 

“We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact has been fully mitigated,” the company added in the statement also shared by an Akamai spokesperson.

The spokesperson did not immediately respond when asked for further details about the cause of the outage and how the company may have fixed the issue. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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