Countless prominent websites and services were knocked offline for an extended period Friday afternoon. Cloudflare coordinates traffic and provides cybersecurity for millions of web properties.
“This afternoon we saw an outage across some parts of our network,” Cloudflare said in a blog post addressing the situation. “It was not as a result of an attack. It appears a router on our global backbone announced bad routes and caused some portions of the network to not be available. We believe we have addressed the root cause and are monitoring systems for stability now.”
The sweeping outage had prompted social media users to speculate about a coordinated cyberattack such as a distributed denial of service, more commonly known as DDoS. Impacted websites included news outlet Politico, online marketplace Shopify, social media platform Discord and popular online video game "League of Legends."
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince provided further detail about the situation in a series of tweets.
“It appears that a router in Atlanta had an error that caused bad routes across our backbone,” Prince wrote.
The internet issues arose days after hackers took control of the Twitter accounts of a number of prominent leaders in business and politics in an apparent bid to steal bitcoin from their unsuspecting followers. The attack prompted Twitter to lock down the affected accounts and take a number of steps to secure its platform, including limiting activity for verified users for a period of time.