Internet Outages Hit HK Stock Exchange, Others, Days After Disruption of Top Websites

An internet outage hit companies like the Hong Kong Stock Exchange just days after a different outage caused many top websites to go down, the Associated Press reported.

Web and security service provider Akamai said in a statement Thursday that it was aware of the issue and working to restore services as soon as possible. Most services have been restored to the companies and services were only out for under an hour.

Akamai, which counts some of the world's biggest companies and banks as customers, blamed the outage on a software bug that was triggered when a customer changed a setting.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Error 503 Message
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: In this Photo illustration, a screen displays a holding page of the Gov.UK Government website portal on June 08, 2021 in London, England. A wide range of major websites including eBay, Paypal, The Financial Times, Reddit, Twitch and The Guardian were taken offline due to what is believed to be an issue with the Fastly cloud hosting service. Some of the affected websites displayed the message "Error 503 Service Unavailable." Leon Neal/Getty Images

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange said in a post on Twitter Thursday afternoon Hong Kong time that its site was facing technical issues and that it was investigating. It said in another post 17 minutes later that its websites were back to normal.

Internet monitoring websites including ThousandEyes, and showed dozens of disruptions, including to U.S.-based airlines.

Many of the outages were reported by people in Australia trying to do banking, book flights and access postal services.

Australia Post, the country's postal service, said on Twitter that an "external outage" had impacted a number of its services, and that while most services had come back online, they were continuing to monitor and investigate.

Many services were up and running after an hour or so but the affected companies said they were working overtime to prevent further problems.

Banking services were severely disrupted, with Westpac, the Commonwealth, ANZ and St George all down, along with the website of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the country's central bank. The Reserve Bank cancelled a bond-buying operation due to technical difficulties facing several banks that were to participate.

Virgin Australia said flights were largely operating as scheduled after it restored access to its website and guest contact center.

"Virgin Australia was one of many organizations to experience an outage with the Akamai content delivery system today," it said. "We are working with them to ensure that necessary measures are taken to prevent these outages from reoccurring."

Brief internet service outages are not uncommon and are only rarely the result of hacking or other mischief. But the outages have underscored how vital a small number of behind-the-scenes companies have become to running the internet.

Hong Kong Stock Exchange
FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2019, file photo, flags are raised outside the Hong Kong Exchange Square building in Central of Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange said it was hit by technical problems Thursday as a wave of brief internet outages appeared to hit dozens of financial institutions, airlines and other companies across the globe. Kin Cheung/Associated Press