Data Security

Cloudflare’s recent 502 Bad Gateway outage blamed on bad software (Updated)

If you are visiting a website and it is displaying “502 Bad Gateway” error it is not your fault but an issue with Cloudflare.

Update: July 12th, 2019 – Cloudflare has published a detailed report explaining why the service went down. While Cloudflare’s transparency is exemplary, other companies should follow the same path. Cloudflare’s report is available here.

Cloudflare, the world’s largest “Content Delivery Network” (CDN) on the internet has suffered a service disruption causing “502 Bad Gateway” error on thousands of Cloudflare-proxied domains since this morning including CoinDesk. On the other hand, CoinDesk confirmed in a tweet that their website has been down due to Cloudfare outage.

Cloudflare provides security and other services to over 16 million online businesses. The problem surfaced at 1342 UTC today when users took it to social media complaining that they couldn’t access several websites including Down Detector, a service that keeps track of online platforms facing connectivity issues.

Although, the issue has now been resolved, earlier, Cloudflare confirmed on its status page that there were “performance problems” on the network which were being investigated. Furthermore, in a blog post, Cloudflare’s CTO John Graham-Cumming blamed the outage on bad software deploy.

“For about 30 minutes today, visitors to Cloudflare sites received 502 errors (502 Bad Gateway) caused by a massive spike in CPU utilization on our network.”

“This CPU spike was caused by a bad software deploy that was rolled back. Once rolled back the service returned to normal operation and all domains using Cloudflare returned to normal traffic levels. This was not an attack (as some have speculated) and we are incredibly sorry that this incident occurred. Internal teams are meeting as I write performing a full post-mortem to understand how this occurred and how we prevent this from ever occurring again,” wrote Cumming.

At the time of publishing this article; the issue was successfully resolved however the list of countries affected by the outage is still available on Cloudflare’s status page.

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