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Massive internet outage affects a wide range of major global corporate websites

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A sweeping internet disruption on Thursday briefly took out a wide range of major corporate websites — from FedEx and Delta Air Lines to HSBC and McDonald’s.

The outages coincided with reports of system disruptions from Akamai and Oracle two key providers of internet infrastructure services.

Visitors attempting to reach some sites received DNS errors, meaning their requests could not reach the websites. It has now tweeted that the issue has been fixed and “the service is resuming normal operations”.

Internet outage monitoring platform DownDetector had reported thousands of problems from its users across dozens of platforms.

Previously it said the issue had been a “partial outage” – and some users reported being able to access some compromised services in different regions.

As some websites began to appear again for users in Europe and the US, others in Asian nations continued to report problems.

DNS – short for Domain Name System – turns the human-readable web addresses we use, such as bbc.com, into addresses that point to a computer server somewhere online.

Disruptions often mean that a web browser cannot find the content it is looking for.

Major website and app outages happen from time to time and typically don’t last long. Internet service providers, content delivery networks and other hosting services are built with multiple redundancies and a global network of backup servers designed to reduce disruptions when things go haywire. However, the recent outages have caused some experts to warn of the risks of the internet’s reliance on a relatively small number of core infrastructure providers.

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