Many major websites and services were unreachable for a period Friday afternoon due to issues at Cloudflare’s 18.104.22.168 DNS service. The outage seems to have started at about 2:15 Pacific time and lasted for about 25 minutes before connections began to be restored.
Cloudflare provided an update at 2:46 Pacific time, saying “the issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented.” CEO Matthew Prince explained it all came down to a bad router in Atlanta:
Cloudflare also issued a statement via email emphasizing this was not an attack on the system.
“This afternoon we saw an outage across some parts of our network. It was not as a result of an attack,” the company said in a statement. “It appears a router on our global backbone announced bad routes and caused some portions of the network to not be available. We believe we have addressed the root cause and are monitoring systems for stability now. We will share more shortly—we have a team writing an update as we speak.”
Discord, Feedly, Politico, Patreon, Deliveroo, Drudge Report, GitLab, Zendesk, Medium, Shopify and League of Legends were some of the sites affected, giving an idea of the breadth of the issue. Not only were websites down but also some status pages meant to provide warnings and track outages. In at least one case, even the status page for the status page was down.
A DNS, or Domain Name System, is an integral part of the web, connecting domains (like TechCrunch.com) to their IP addresses (such as 22.214.171.124). If the one you or a site use goes down, it doesn’t matter whether a website’s own servers are working or not — users can’t even reach them in the first place. Internet providers usually have their own, but they are often bad, so alternatives like Google’s have existed for many years, and Cloudflare launched its service in late 2018.
Later in the day, Cloudflare wrote in a tweet and provided an update to its own status page that it was “investigating issues with Cloudflare Resolver and their edge network in certain locations. Customers using Cloudflare services in certain regions are impacted as requests might fail and/or errors may be displayed.”
The issue impacted twelve data centers in the U.S. and Europe, according to Cloudflare.
SJC – San Jose, CA, United States
DFW – Dallas, TX, United States
SEA – Seattle, WA, United States
LAX – Los Angeles, CA, United States
ORD – Chicago, IL, United States
IAD – Ashburn, VA, United States
EWR – Newark, NJ, United States
ATL – Atlanta, GA, United States
LHR – London, United Kingdom
AMS – Amsterdam, Netherlands
FRA – Frankfurt, Germany
CDG – Paris, France
Some of the services and sites also relied on Google’s Public DNS service (126.96.36.199), which appeared to be having simultaneous issues, but TechCrunch has not been able to directly confirm this. Google shows no interruption to services on its status dashboard.
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