Several major websites, including some of the world’s largest news organisations, were briefly knocked offline on Tuesday morning in a major internet outage caused by a fault at a San Francisco-based cloud computing firm.
Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), social network Reddit and video game streaming site Twitch were all left disconnected on Tuesday morning in addition to websites for major press outlets such as The Guardian, The Independent and CNN.
Other outlets affected included the Financial Times, The New York Times, the Evening Standard and Bloomberg, while other websites including craft shopping site Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY) and even the website of the UK Government were disrupted
The source of the outage appears to have been a technical fault at Fastly Inc (NYSE:FSLY), a cloud content delivery network that says it speeds up the passage of data around the internet.
The “edge cloud” company said earlier that it was investigating the incident, with many of the downed websites returning to service at around midday.
While shares in the company were down in pre-market trading in New York, Fastly recovered in mid-morning deals to rise 6.7% to US$54.12, possibly due to trader’s realisation that a company capable of shutting down a large portion fo the internet at the flick of a switch may be more valuable than initially thought.
While the panic among internet users was brief, the incident is likely to raise further questions around the reliance of most websites on a handful of content delivery firms and hosting networks that have the power to shut down vast swaths of the web.
–Updates Fastly share price–