How Cloudflare’s minor outage led to a massive Online Uproar

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Renowned online content delivery network, Cloudflare, went down today and took along with it some additional services like Discord. The networking giant started facing issues early in the morning that led to it being offline for a while. The company identified this incident as a “possible route leak” and the issue was fixed later in the day.

Image: Cloudflare

Now as I’ve mentioned earlier, Cloudflare is a content delivery network that provides its cloud services to other online services so that they can conduct. The most notable ones include chat service Discord, managed hosting provider WP Engine, eCommerce hosting provider Sonassi, and public web front-end CDN service CDNJS. And since all these require Cloudfare’s services to function properly, they too were down.

Things weren’t all that bad, however, as  Cloudflare still functioned in some locations but that did not help. People soon started pointing out on social media regarding this to confirm if this really was a global issue.

Cloudflare did respond to this issue and came forth with an official statement. It was, “Earlier today, a widespread BGP routing leak affected a number of Internet services and a portion of traffic to Cloudflare. All of Cloudflare’s systems continued to run normally, but traffic wasn’t getting to us for a portion of our domains. At this point, the network outage has been fixed and traffic levels are returning to normal.

BGP acts as the backbone of the Internet, routing traffic through Internet transit providers and then to services like Cloudflare. There are more than 700k routes across the Internet. By nature, route leaks are localized and can be caused by error or through malicious intent. We’ve written extensively about BGP and how we’ve adopted RPKI to help further secure it.”

The CEO of Cloudflare, Matthew Prince, even went to the trouble of openly blaming network companies like Verizon and Noction for this issue in his tweets.

All that shade aside, all we know is that the issue has been fixed. Cloudflare and all the other services depending on it are back and fully functional. Incidents like this really do make us wonder how the internet and all the online services have become an integral part of our lives to the point that a minor issue can lead to a colossal uproar. It is really the Butterfly Effect of the virtual world.

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