Fastly said CDN services were impacted as dozens of sites, including Amazon and the UK government, were unavailable

Multiple major websites went offline briefly Tuesday after an apparent outage at the cloud service company Fastly, and there were still reports of sporadic disruptions after the company patched the problem about an hour later, reports AP.

Dozens of sites including the New York Times, CNN, Twitch, Reddit, Amazon, the Guardian, and the UK government’s home page, could not be reached. Affected websites displayed the message: “Error 503 Service Unavailable”.

San Francisco-based Fastly acknowledged a problem just before 1000 GMT. It said in repeated updates on its website that it was “continuing to investigate the issue” and acknowledging it was ”investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN [content delivery network] services”.

About an hour later, the company said: “The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return.”

A number of sites that were hit early appeared to be coming back online.

Down Detector, which tracks internet outages, said: “Reports indicate there may be a widespread outage at Fastly, which may be impacting your service.”

Fastly describes itself as an “edge cloud platform.” It provides behind-the-scenes cloud computing services to many of the web’s high profile sites, by helping them to store content in servers around the world.

It is designed to speed up loading times for websites, and protect them from denial-of-service (DoS) attacks and help them when traffic is peaking.

The 2021 Allianz Risk Barometer identified cloud outages as having potential for systemic or catastrophic risk. ”A major blackout or cloud outage could have a massive impact, simultaneously affecting companies around the world”.

“Future ‘Black Swan’ events cannot be ruled out,” said Jens Krickhahn, a regional cyber practice leader at AGCS. ”It will be important to identify and prepare for such scenarios quickly before they become true events.”