Major disruptions to Cloudflare services caused a massive global Internet outage, the company has acknowledged. But Cloudflare says disruptions to its services were not a result of a cyberattack. The company claims to have discovered and fixed the issue. The US-based company provides companies with web infrastructure, Internet security, DDoS mitigation, the distributed domain name server (DNS), among other services.
Cloudflare Network Outage
Cloudflare is by no means a small name in the world of cloud-based web and hosting services, Internet and cybersecurity industry. The series of offerings includes DNS services, DDoS mitigation, and more.
Major websites and online services including ZenDesk, Medium, Discord, and Patreon operate using Cloudflare’s servers and cloud-based infrastructure. Ironically, a website called Downdetector that tracks Internet outage also went offline, courtesy of this massive Cloudflare outage and service disruptions.
“A configuration error in our backbone network caused an outage for Internet properties and Cloudflare services that lasted 27 minutes,” said John Graham-Cumming, Chief Technology Officer of Cloudflare. “We saw traffic drop by 50% across our network.”
According to the company, the outage was limited to select regions and did not affect the entire Cloudflare network.
Router misconfiguration caused this outage
The company has pinned the blame on its network engineering team who misconfigured certain router settings in Atlanta while addressing the network congestion issues. According to the company, an error in certain router configuration caused all traffic across to be sent to Atlanta. It resulted in Cloudflare network disruptions.
The problem affected these locations: San Jose, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Richmond, Newark, Atlanta, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Stockholm, Moscow, St. Petersburg, São Paulo, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre. Meanwhile, other locations continued to operate normally, Cloudflare CTO confirmed in his blog post.
“For the avoidance of doubt: this was not caused by an attack or breach of any kind,” the company added.
According to a timeline of this outage, the problem started with the loss of the backbone link between EWR and ORD. In less than 30 minutes since the outage, the service was fully restored including logs and metrics. Cloudflare also described this incident as a very painful period for everyone involved and apologized for the disruption to its customers and their users.