World’s leading media, social websites crash after internet breakdown

CNN, BBC, New York Times, UK govt, Guardian, Twitter, YouTube sites hit

By: News Desk      Published: 04:01 PM, 8 Jun, 2021
World’s leading media, social websites crash after internet breakdown
Representative image.

Large swathes of the internet were made inaccessible on Tuesday due to a breakdown in a key network provider, crashing the leading global government, media and other websites.

Dozens of websites in the U.S. and Europe were inaccessible early Tuesday, with at least one internet outage tracker reporting widespread disruptions. This includes dozens of major international news websites, including CNN, BBC, the New York Times and the Guardian.

Major online forums such as Reddit, Twitch and Github were also affected, as were shopping sites such as Amazon and house sites such as MyHome.ie.

Apps on phones and tablets appear to be relatively unaffected.

Despite rumours circulating on social media sites, there is no evidence of a hack or foul play.

The outage seems to be focused more prevalently in certain parts of the world.

‘Content Delivery Network’ (CDN) outages are often connected to the local infrastructure, where data centres and other key equipment is located.

While sometimes the result of outside interference, they can also be caused by equipment failure, disruption from the grid or other factors.

The UK government's main website was unavailable on Tuesday morning, as several international media platforms went down, including CNN, Twitter, YouTube, The New York Times, The Guardian, the Financial Times and Le Monde newspapers.

The portal gov.uk and the newspaper sites all showed error messages. The BBC was also temporarily inaccessible, but later returned.

Error messages appeared on the websites at around 1000 GMT.

Some other US and British news media websites have also experienced technical problems because of the internet outage. 

The Guardian, the Financial Times, the New York Times and Bloomberg News said on Tuesday that their websites were affected by a wide internet outage.

Also, ​internet users around the world have problems with access to YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Spotify, Twitch, Amazon and Paypal, Downdetector, a popular portal that tracks website outages and crashes, reported.

​The outage monitoring service issued dozens of similar messages regarding other services. 

The Guardian tweeted: “The Guardian’s website and app are currently being affected by a wider internet outage and will be back as soon as possible.”

ther websites affected included the online discussion platform Reddit, Pinterest, Twitch, the Evening Standard and French newspaper Le Monde. Cyberattacks are 'here to stay'

Earlier, the US commerce secretary appealed for vigilance from the private sector in the face of increasingly serious cyberattacks, saying the threat is "here to stay" and may even worsen.

"I think the first thing we have to recognize is this is the reality, and we should assume -- and businesses should assume -- that these attacks are here to stay and if anything will intensify," Gina Raimondo said on ABC's "This Week."

Analysts say the hackers behind a series of recent cyberattacks -- targeting a major US oil pipeline, a global meatpacking giant and even the Irish health service -- are likely based in Russia.

Aides say President Joe Biden will raise the issue during an upcoming European trip, first at a G7 meeting of leading democracies beginning Friday in Britain, then with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16.

Raimondo, asked whether the US should be taking a more aggressive stance on cyberattacks -- even perhaps contemplate military action -- replied that "all options are on the table."

"This is a top priority and all of us in the cabinet and the National Security Council are focused on it and considering all possible consequences."

She added that "we won't stand for a nation supporting or turning a blind eye to a criminal enterprise."

The recent cyberattacks on major targets like the Colonial Pipeline, which brings gasoline to much of the US East Coast, have sharply focused attention on the problem, long bubbling below the surface as companies and government entities have suffered so-called ransomware attacks, often paying ransoms without reporting them.

Mark Warner, a Democrat who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, called Sunday on NBC for greater transparency -- requiring companies to report cyberattacks -- and for the establishment of international norms. 

He urged debate on possibly making it illegal for companies to pay ransoms to cyberattackers.

FBI director Christopher Wray recently underscored the severity of the problem, saying there were parallels with the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US by Al-Qaeda, which killed 2,977 people. 

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, asked on Sunday if US adversaries had the ability to shut down its power grid, told CNN: "Yes, they do. I mean, I think that there are very malign actors who are trying.

"Even as we speak, there are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally."