Literally half the internet was brought down today by a fat-fingered network admin at Cloudflare who misconfigured a single piece of hardware: A border router that directs TCP/IP traffic, carrying website data across the world.
The outage was shockingly widespread, affecting literally millions of websites for as long as an hour. Cloudflare blames a single piece of hardware for the fiasco, stating:
It appears a router on our global backbone announced bad routes and caused some portions of the network to not be available. We believe we have addressed the root cause and are monitoring systems for stability now.
We are not condemning Cloudflare here; the company is remarkably innovative and provides world-class DDoS protection for many websites, probably including the one you’re reading now. But notice the language structure of their statement? The router “announced” bad routes. This is much the same as when CNN says “a van” ran over people and killed them. It’s almost as if Cloudflare is trying to claim the router decided on its own to behave badly.