Online outages reported for banks, businesses in Canada and globally

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – After website outages were reported around the world Thursday morning, the company at the center of everything is reassuring the public that their personal information is not at risk.

Customers have complained about issues accessing their online banking services and using apps, including with several Canadian banks, such as Scotiabank, BMO and RBC.

Businesses were also having huge website issues, with people around the world saying they couldn’t access the sites or log into their accounts. Affected companies included Airbnb, Air Canada, Southwest Airlines, Playstation Network and HBO.

Akamai Technologies, which many businesses and organizations rely on as their DNS provider, says the outages were “not the result of a cyber attack on the Akamai platform.”

Akamai has confirmed that it has implemented a fix for the outage issue, and as of Thursday afternoon, services have resumed.

Many institutions acknowledged intermittent outages, while others said they were not experiencing any.

But concerns about how this happened remain.

With numerous social media posts saying they have experienced outages affecting banks in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom

While it’s unclear exactly what caused the outages, cybersecurity expert Dominic Vogel provided more details on how this could happen to a DNS provider.

“The non-technical way of describing DNS is almost like a phone book,” he explained. “It’s basically a way to find the location of a website. So something happened there, and if people search for websites, like for example, they are unable to find the address where that website is.

Vogel says there was definitely a lack of clarity at the start of the blackouts. However, he applauds Akamai’s steps to be transparent.

“No need to panic. This stuff happens and will happen. The internet is not always operational and I think people sometimes forget that there is an essentially fragile infrastructure that supports the internet. So being down isn’t necessarily a reason for concern, but I think it’s important that we check out and see what Akamai is doing and the updates they are giving throughout the day.

-With files from Martin MacMahon

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