Problems with accessing many websites around the world, which temporarily blocked major media outlets, as well as institutional websites such as the White House, were being resolved on Tuesday, according to the American company at the. root of the problem, Fastly.
The latter did not specify the nature of the difficulties encountered: internal technical problem or external attack? This last hypothesis was, however, considered rather unlikely by certain professionals in the sector interviewed by AFP.
This cloud computing service provider only indicated via Twitter that it had “identified” the problem and ensured that its global network was “coming back online” at around 7:10 am.
Access to the vast majority of sites was in fact restored at the same time.
It was around 5.30 a.m. that the specialist website Down Detector began recording reports of users dissatisfied with not being able to access their favorite news sites (New York Times, Le Monde, Financial Times, Corriere delle Serra, El Mundo), but also to other sites such as the Reddit discussion platform or the PayPal online payment system.
The most prestigious institutional sites have not been spared.
The White House site referred him, at about the same time, to the message “This page does not work”.
In France, several news sites were concerned: Euronews, the weekly L’Obs and several sites of the Le Monde group, including the eponymous daily and the weekly Télérama.
Down Detector quickly reported information “that could indicate a large outage within Fastly.”
The latter – whose site itself has temporarily fallen – said around 5:58 am that it was “investigating” “a potential impact” affecting its CDN (Content Delivery Network) services, that is to say its content distribution networks.
Fastly is one of those little-known, but strategic companies that offer website publishers to help them distribute their content internationally, by hosting mirror sites of the original site around the world.
Its service – like that of its competitors Akamai, Cloudflare, etc. – prevents all requests addressed to a website from converging in the same place by creating traffic jams, and therefore gaining speed.
The sites which broadcast audiovisual content and the media sites are major clients of these CDNs, since by nature they have to cope with very significant peaks in connections.
Companies like Fastly handle hundreds of billions of queries per day and therefore play an extremely important referral role.
Fastly generated sales of $ 291 million in 2020. The company is headquartered in San Francisco.