Akamai apologises after outage left Australia's major banks and airline systems offline

A cyber attack was not the cause behind an Akamai outage that took down the systems of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia Post, and Virgin Australia.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Akamai confirmed an outage of one of its Prolexic DDoS services was to blame for taking down the online services of some of Australia's major banks and airline systems on Thursday afternoon.

The company assured the issue was not caused by a system update or a cyber attack, and detailed that a routing table value used by its Prolexic DDoS services was "inadvertently exceeded".

"The effect was an unanticipated disruption of service," the company said.

The US-based service provider, which promotes itself as "the world's largest and most sophisticated edge platform", said it detected the issue immediately and impacted customers were alerted within seconds. Issues started to appear at approximately 2:20pm AEST on Thursday.

"The impact was limited to Akamai customers using version 3.0 of the Routed service," the company confirmed in a post.

"Many of the approximately 500 customers using this service were automatically rerouted, which restored operations within a few minutes. The large majority of the remaining customers manually rerouted shortly thereafter."

Affected customers included three of the four major Australian banks -- Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, and ANZ -- as well as Australia Post and Virgin Australia. Each of them took to Twitter to inform customers of the problem.

"We're aware some of you are experiencing difficulties accessing our services and we're urgently investigating. We apologise and thanks for your patience, we'll provide an update soon," CBA said. Similar remarks were made by Westpac and ANZ.

Virgin Australia tweeted the outage was impacting its website and contact centre. Meanwhile, Australia Post said it was due to an "external" outage. 

Service was restored by 6:47pm AEST.  

Akamai has since issued an apology to its customers and affected end users.

"We have taken steps to prevent a recurrence of this issue. We will also be working to make sure that every Akamai customer is set up for automatic rerouting in the future," the company said.

Related Coverage

Editorial standards