Steven R. July 18, 2020
One of the world’s largest internet hosting entities abruptly shut down, leading to widespread panic and memeing across the internet.
A huge number of internet users were left with nothing to do after Cloudflare experienced a sudden outage. This shut down the servers powering a slew of video games, social media platforms, and large websites.
Breaking: A large outage took down Cloudflare, a website hosting, network and internet security provider. The outage is mainly resolved. More than 80+ websites and apps were down. pic.twitter.com/cg2vDSVNdu
— Porter Medium (@PorterMedium) July 17, 2020
Within the video game industry, Fortnite, Discord, League of Legends, Valorant, and Minecraft all experienced interruptions. They were far from alone, as Cloudflare is also a key part of both Facebook and Google. On top of that, it also hit a number of popular streaming services, including Sling and Crunchy Roll.
In total, it’s estimated that approximately 40% of the internet was at some point shut down as a result of Cloudflare’s outage.
The downtime lasted for just a short while, but the huge number of outlets and services that were impacted led to widespread speculation over what had happened. Many wondered if a foreign power or large hacktivist group had targeted Cloudflare.
There are some Cloudflare issues impacting our services, but they’re being worked on! Sorry for the trouble in the meantime
— Discord (@discord) July 17, 2020
Cloudflare outages in LoL, Fortnite were not a cyberattack
While conspiracy theories were somewhat understandable, especially considering this happened just a day after a massive breakdown in Twitter’s security that saw hackers gain control of the accounts of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, and many more public figures.
Others also claimed that a DDOS attack had succeeded against Cloudflare. This would have been a huge affront to Cloudflare’s operations, as many websites across the internet use Cloudflare’s services for DDOS protections.
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince pushed back against these hypotheses by stating on Twitter that the breakdown in Cloudflare’s services were a technical error, and nothing else.
“We had an issue that impacted some portions of the Cloudflare network. It appears that a router in Atlanta had an error that caused bad routes across our backbone…We isolated the Atlanta router and shut down our backbone, routing traffic across transit providers instead,” Prince said.
He also flatly denied that this was a cyberattack and that it was unrelated to the mass Twitter hack.
While the shutdown was enormous in scope, Cloudflare was quick to get most of its operations back in working order. Things were back to full speed shortly thereafter.
Players can hop onto Valorant, Fortnite, Minecraft, and League of Legends without issue now, but it was a strange moment when all of these games and more went dark.