Update: DNS service Akamai, which is widely believed to be behind the vast outages impacting the biggest banks in the UK, says it has implemented a fix and expects “normal operations” to resume soon. However, it cautions that it’s continuing to monitor the situation, which has left customers from Halifax, Barclays, Lloyds, and TSB unable to access their accounts, make payments, or manage credit cards.
The original story follows below…
If your bank account is held with one of the biggest high street banks in the UK, chances are, you have been impacted by a seismic outage rocking the UK right now. A number of the biggest brands, including Barclays, HSBC, TSB, Lloyds, Tesco Bank, and Halifax, are suffering from a colossal outage that has left thousands of customers unable to login to online or mobile banking. HSBC is also suffering a similar issue, with customers unable to connect to the mobile banking app on iPhone and Android, or the online banking portal.
Online banking allows customers to check their balance, manage their accounts, transfer money, schedule standing orders, and make one-off payments. The outage, which started around 5pm in the UK, has left thousands unable to perform any of these day-to-day tasks. For those who need to pay rent, repay friends, or transfer the remaining balance of a holiday or house purchase – the outage is devastating.
Thousands of enraged customers have flooded social media to complain about the ongoing banking issues. Almost 3,000 people have voiced complaints about Barclays alone. A similar number of reports can be found from a number of the other banks included in the outage.
The outage is so complete that even Barclay’s Status Page, which is used to inform customers about problems impacting its service, is currently offline.
Independent website DownDetector, which tracks the performance of online applications and services by tracking complaints across social media, reveals the sheer number of web-based services impacted by the latest outage. As well as high street banks, a number of popular online services, including the PlayStation Network – which enables multiplayer games with players across the planet, AirBnB, and the Amazon website are currently offline for users.
It seems that DNS service Akamai could be behind the current issues, which have impacted such a wide range of companies and services. Akamai provides crucial infrastructure for a number of these services and it has confirmed that it’s experiencing some problems with its service.
Of course, until Akamai confirms that it is behind the problems, nothing is guaranteed. However, given that some of the worldwide brands included in the latest outage are featured on the customers page on the Akamai website… it seems quite likely.
For those who don’t know, a DNS is an essential infrastructure for the web. The first thing that happens when you type a URL into your web browsers’ address bar – like express.co.uk, for example – is the web domain is translated into an IP address that your computer understands – something like 192.168.1.1. To translate the human-friendly web address you’ve written into the computer-literate IP address, your machine will use a DNS.
This acts like an enormous phonebook that tells your browser what IP address it needs to load to take you to the website you’re looking for.
If the DNS is offline, it would explain why users’ computers were unable to load webpages and were showing that users were offline – when they weren’t.