The global outage on June 8, 2021, led to a lot of websites all over the world going down, with an Error page showing  “Error 503 Service Unavailable”.This included many social media websites as well as a number of well-known news giants. Some of the leading news websites that were affected by the global outage are New York Times, Vice, Guardian, Forbes, BBC, The Verge, Financial Times, BuzzFeed, and more. Other websites such as Reddit, Twitch, Pinterest, were also affected and returned Error 503. 

Not only this but the websites of the government of the UK were also impacted by the outage One of the famous social media websites, Twitter’s emojis were overflowing during the global outage and were in the vertically-written text.

Reason Behind the Global Outage

The content delivery network Fastly might be the reason behind the global outage that showed Error 503 on most of the leading websites of the world. 

According to Fastly, “we experienced a global outage due to an undiscovered software bug that surfaced on June 8 when it was triggered by a valid customer configuration change. We detected the disruption within one minute, then identified and isolated the cause, and disabled the configuration. Within 49 minutes, 95% of our network was operating as normal. This outage was broad and severe, and we’re truly sorry for the impact to our customers and everyone who relies on them”.

However, the company also said that the fix has been applied and customers may experience increased origin load as global services return.

Why Rely on CDNs

This is not the first time that an issue with CDN has caused many other dependent websites to go down. Previously in 2020, Cloudflare, another leading global cloud platform, had faced issues that impacted its client websites. The Cloudflare glitch resulted in sites such as Discord, Feedly, Politico, Shopify, and League of Legends going down.

Platforms such as Netflix, Facebook, Amazon — ones with large quantities of data held in global libraries — host their geographically relevant content closer to where that content is to be consumed. This ensures the end customer is able to access the content faster. Another reason companies rely on these CDNs is to help protect their sites against traffic spikes, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, etc.

What to do to protect from Global Outreach Attack?

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