A resounding “down” on a large scale, with very few precedents, a global stop. An online block, with hundreds of websites unreachable or slowed down. A hitch most likely caused by the collapse of a CDN (content delivery network) – hit many government sites – including that of the British executive. So newspaper sites like Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta, New York Times, Financial Times, Spectator e Guardian and television networks like CNN and Spectator and even giants like Amazon.
It would not be a hacker attack but of a technical problem which, as mentioned, has very few precedents. They have arrived reports from all over the world, with the error messages that stood out on the white pages of unreachable sites. Who tried to connect to the Guardian he was faced with a laconic “Connection failure”. Therefore, NOW e Financial Times reported a “Fastly error: unknown domain: nyt.com“. And so on. Then, moving to different CDNs, the sites are once again reachable. In detail, the problem has hit the CDN Fastly.
But what are they, CDNs? It is – to define them by their name – of Content Delivery Network o Content Distribution Network (Network for the delivery of contents), a term born in the late 90s and which identifies a system of computers connected to the network that collaborate transparently to distribute contents (especially multimedia contents of large bandwidth, such as IPTV) to end users and provide audio and video streaming services. In short, a lintel of the internet.
The network, distributed on the computers by the providers, allows you to have content in the cache in order to speed up distribution to all users who surf online. The main CDNs are Akamai, Cloud Front and Fastly, along with those of Google and Microsoft. The reason for the collapse of the Fastly CDN? Perhaps an incorrect reconfiguration, but it is still early to tell.