Home Major Internet Incidents and Outages of 2010

Major Internet Incidents and Outages of 2010

We do our best to cope with Internet and website outages, which can be incredibly frustrating when they take out major communication channels. When a service goes down, Twitter usually lights up with complaints and questions – well, unless it’s Twitter that’s down, of course.

So to cap off a year that seemed to have its fair share of major meltdowns, the website monitoring company Royal Pingdom has posted its list of this year’s major Internet incidents.

1. Wikipedia’s failover fail

A failover fail in March knocked Wikipedia offline worldwide for several hours.

2. WordPress.com’s big-blog crash

WordPress was down for 110 minutes in mid-February, the biggest outage the service had seen in four years.

3. Gmail’s multiple outages

Although disruptions don’t generally impact all Gmail users, the email service had several notable outages this year, including a 2.5 hour downtime in February, a 36 hour outage in March and a 2 hour outage in September.

4. China reroutes the Internet

In April, China Telecom purportedly spread incorrect traffic routes to the rest of the Internet, meaning that for 18 minutes, as much as 15% of Internet traffic was sent via China.

5. Twitter’s World Cup woes

Twitter saw incredible growth this year, but tweeting became so popular, particularly during the World Cup, that Twitter broke. Repeatedly.

6. Facebook’s feedback loop

Facebook was offline for 2.5 hours in September when a feedback loop overloaded its databases. Our own community manager Seamus Condron went so far during the outage as to post some helpful suggestions about how best to cope.

7. Foursquare’s double whammy

Foursquare was down for 11 hours in October. The culprit: database issues. The site was down an additional 6 hours the next day as the engineers fixed things.

8. Paypal’s payment problems

Problems with network equipment disrupted PayPal’s service for 4.5 hours in October.

9. Tumblr’s tumble

Tumblr has had a great year, and ReadWriteWeb just named it the Best LittleCo of 2010. But that success in part led to a 24 hour outage in December, when all of Tumblr’s 11 million blogs were knocked offline.

10. The WikiLeaks drama

The WikiLeaks site experienced its own issues during its most recent document release, as it came under heavy DDoS attacks. The site then moved to Amazon Web Services, but was quickly ousted. The site then lost its DNS provider for the Wikileaks.org domain. The site has remained largely reachable via its IP address and over 2000 mirror sites have since sprung up. But the events surrounding WIkiLeaks have not merely interrupted the organization’s website, as Amazon, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, EveryDNS and others have been targeted by DDoS attacks. “The Wikileaks drama is without a doubt the Internet incident of the year,” says Royal Pingdom.

Do you see anything missing from this list? And care to offer any predictions about outages in 2011?

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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