Updating: DNS service Akamai, widely believed to be the cause of the massive outages affecting the UK’s largest banks, says it has implemented a fix and expects “normal operations” to resume soon. However, it warns that it will continue to monitor the situation, which prevents customers from Halifax, Barclays, Lloyds and TSB from accessing their accounts, making payments or managing credit cards.
The original story follows below…
If your bank account is held at one of the largest high street banks in the UK, chances are you are currently affected by an earthquake that is rocking the UK. Some of the biggest brands, including Barclays, HSBC, TSB, Lloyds, Tesco Bank and Halifax, are facing a massive outage that has left thousands of customers unable to log in to online or mobile banking. HSBC is also facing 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 balances, manage their accounts, transfer funds, schedule standing orders and make one-time payments. The outage, which started around 5pm in the UK, has left thousands of people unable to perform these daily tasks. For those who have to pay rent, repay friends, or transfer the remaining balance from a vacation or home purchase, the outage is devastating.
Some of the biggest high street banks are currently experiencing a colossal failure in the UK
Thousands of outraged customers have flooded social media to complain about the ongoing banking problems. Nearly 3,000 people have made complaints about Barclays alone. A similar number of reports can be found at a number of other banks involved in the outage.
The outage is so complete that even Barclay’s status page, which is used to notify customers of issues affecting the service, is currently offline.
Independent website DownDetector, which tracks the performance of online applications and services by following complaints on social media, reveals the sheer number of web-based services affected by the latest outage. In addition to high street banks, a number of popular online services, including the PlayStation Network – which enables multiplayer games with players around the world, AirBnB and the Amazon website are currently offline for users.
Some of the UK’s biggest banks have gone offline with the latest release
It seems that DNS service Akamai is behind the current problems, which have affected such a wide range of companies and services. Akamai provides critical infrastructure for some of these services and has confirmed it is experiencing issues with its service.
Of course, until Akamai confirms that it is behind the problems, nothing is guaranteed. However, given that some of the global brands that are part of the latest outage are listed on the customer page on the Akamai website… it seems quite likely.
— Virtual thoughts (@VT_UK) July 22, 2021
Hi Janet, we are aware that some of our customers are currently having problems logging into internet banking. We’re sorry and we’re working to get it back to normal soon. Sorry for any inconvenience. ^Gillian
— Halifax (@HalifaxBank) July 22, 2021
Hi, I’m AndyM. We know that some of our customers are currently having trouble logging into internet banking. We’re sorry and we’re working to get it back to normal soon.
— Lloyds Bank (@LloydsBank) July 22, 2021
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 the address bar of your web browser, such as express.co.uk, is that 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 wrote into the computer-literate IP address, your machine uses a DNS.
This works like a huge phone book telling your browser what IP address it needs to load to take you to the website you’re looking for.
If the DNS is offline, this would explain why users’ computers couldn’t load web pages and showed that users were offline – when they weren’t.
Just one example, Barclays, reveals the extent of the outage
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these massive outages. Last month, a failure with service Fastly caused problems with the British government website, Amazon, eBay and Ticketmaster, among others. It took about an hour for thousands of disgruntled customers to regain access to the online services.
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