This Is How One Single CDN User Took Down the Internet

A single configuration change by a CDN customer took many of the biggest sites on the world wide web down. This just goes to show how a single bug can spiral into something big enough to took down most of the internet. Kind of like the buttery fly effect we see in time travel movies and tv shows. Gladly things got fixed quickly since some people couldn’t even access Amazon and other big sites.

The incident took place on 8th June, in the morning. It was apparently caused by a single CDN user simply changing his network setting. According to CDN provider Fastly, where the bug generated, one simple request from a customer triggered a bug that took down many websites. Fastly published a post explaining what happened.

Nick Rockwell, senior vice president of engineering and infrastructure at Fastly, explained that a software update last month introduced a new bug to their platform.

So when a customer reconfigured his internet connection, the bug surfaced and it all spiraled into what we saw on June 8th. Nick said that “A customer pushed a valid configuration change that included the specific circumstances that triggered the bug, which caused 85% of our network to return errors”.

It took merely a minute for the company to realize what had happened and they immediately started working on a fix. After figuring out the issue, 95 percent of the websites affected were back online within 49 minutes of the downtime. You may have seen something called Cloudfare set up on some websites. Well, they’re the same as Fastly, a CDN provider. Content Delivery Networks or CDNs help improve website performance and deliver content to users faster and more efficiently.

This isn’t even the first time a CDN messed up as even Discord went down last year when Cloudfare had some issues. Fastly is working on deploying a fix to the bug as soon as possible. They are also going to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again. But let’s be honest, bugs are as common as air when it comes to code.

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