A software bug in a router update brought down websites across the world after data networks crashed.
Websites in North America and Europe were affected after Level 3 Communications suffered an outage. Reports suggest a firmware update for Juniper Networks routers caused data networks to crash after a glitch in its Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).
In a statement, Level 3 confirmed the company had experienced a significant outage around 9am yesterday (8 November 2011). The company blamed a router manufacturer software issue which affected other carriers.
In a Twitter statement, Juniper Networks said: "We are aware of the Juniper BGP edge router issue this morning. A SW fix is already available."
Hosting provider, Phyber Communications said in a blog post the outage has affected other networks running Juniper routers with the majority of them seeing their devices core dump and reload.
Websites affected included link shortening service, Bit.ly, and several UK ISPs including Easynet, Eclipse Internet and MerulaSupport, according to internet reports.
US internet provider Time Warner Cable said on Twitter: "We appear to be recovering from a large but brief internet outage affecting most of our service areas."
Some Blackberry users were left unable to access e-mails as a result, leading to suggestions Research in Motion (RIM) had suffered another services outage.
RIM issued a statement: "There was a global internet issue today that impacted a number of internet service providers (ISP) around the world. RIM's Blackberry infrastructure was not impacted. However, some customers may have experienced delays with their ISP. RIM continues to monitor the situation."
Mark Clemence, IT director at Cluttons LLP and owner of Pentwood consultancy services, said on Twitter: "This sort of accident can't happen as we move into the cloud era. Redundant systems are essential. If you haven't got them, invest. We can't blame RIM this time."
Level 3 said affected sites and services are now back online.