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Australia internet banking outage blamed on DDoS mitigation service

A technical issue with Akamai's DDoS platform crashed a number of online banking services

A service designed to protect against DDoS attacks has been blamed for an internet outage that affected major banks and public sector organisations across Australia on Thursday, resulting in the failure of websites and online services.

A technical issue stemming from Akamai's DDoS mitigation tool disrupted services operated by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Westpac Bank and ANZ, as well as Virgin Australia and the Australian postal service.

A spokesperson from ANZ told IT Pro that an issue with an external provider briefly affected connectivity on its core services, including its app and online banking. The spokesperson added that connectivity was “restored quickly” and “all our impacted services are back online”.

The root cause of the problem seems to have come from Akamai’s distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation platform Prolexic, according to IT News. “If you face the downtime, kindly turn off/route off Prolexic solution,” a customer service agent, reached via chat on Akamai’s website, advised the publication.

When asked about the problem, an Akamai spokesperson told IT Pro: “We are aware of the issue and [are] actively working to restore services as soon as possible.”

Other entities seemingly affected by the outage include the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as well as the Reserve Bank of Australia, which had to cancel its open market operations auction, as reported by Reuters.

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Last week, a Fastly outage took out a number of websites including those belonging to Amazon, GitHub and the UK government. The cause of the problem was an issue with the company’s service configuration which triggered worldwide disruptions which it disabled. Most of the impacted sites seem to return at around noon BST.

In May, a Sabre Systems outage impacted a number of airlines around the world and interrupted their scheduled flights. One of the airlines the outage affected was Virgin Australia who confirmed that the company had experienced problems with the booking system which resulted in over 30 flights being cancelled. Tweets suggested that the outage lasted for around 3 hours.

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