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A new worldwide web outage struck major banks and airlines on Thursday, with the problem being linked to US-based tech firm Akamai.

Customers were unable to access websites and mobile applications due to an hour-long blackout that affected a number of US airlines, numerous Australian financial businesses, and other enterprises throughout the world.

“We are aware of the issue and actively working to restore services as soon as possible,” an Akamai spokesperson told AFP.

Airlines such as American, Delta, United, and Southwest were among those affected, and the problem appeared to last longer in Australia, where difficulties began in the mid-afternoon as the rest of the globe slept.

Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s largest financial institution, confirmed to AFP that it had been affected, as had several of the country’s major lenders.

Australia’s postal service and Virgin Australia were also affected by the disruptions, which began about 2:10pm Sydney time (0510 GMT).

The airline said in a statement that it “was one of many organisations to experience an outage with the Akamai content delivery system.”

A spokesperson for ANZ bank told AFP the incident was “related to an external provider” but that “connectivity was restored quickly and the most impacted services are back online.”

Customers for St. George and many smaller banks experienced issues with their mobile applications or online banking tools, as did customers for Westpac and ME Bank.

It’s the latest instance to highlight the importance of internet platforms’ reliability, as well as the critical role that a small number of relatively unknown firms play in keeping the web functioning.

After a problem with cloud computing services provider Fastly, US media and government websites, including the White House, New York Times, Reddit, and Amazon, were momentarily down last week.

Fastly provides a service to websites all around the world that helps them load faster.

Akamai provides a number of comparable IT services aimed at improving internet performance and security.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company did not specify what product the problem came from, but one company reported it used Akamai for “IT network authentication.”

A succession of high-profile hack-for-ransom assaults has also made businesses throughout the world nervous about cybersecurity threats, despite little evidence that the most recent issues were caused by hostile actors.

Following an assault in May, Colonial Pipeline was temporarily shut down, and JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, was forced to halt operations in the United States and Australia.

A succession of high-profile hack-for-ransom assaults has also made businesses throughout the world nervous about cybersecurity threats, despite little evidence that the most recent issues were caused by hostile actors.

Following an assault in May, Colonial Pipeline was temporarily shut down, and JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, was forced to halt operations in the United States and Australia.

Both companies are said to have paid a ransom to get their operations back up and running.

The issue of cybersecurity was at the top of the agenda when US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in Geneva on Wednesday.

Washington believes hackers who have extorted hundreds of millions of dollars from Western governments, companies, and organisations operate from Russian soil.

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