More than 15,000 Australian websites, including major news sites and ministry pages, were taken offline by a major outage on Tuesday.
An error in the domain name system, often referred to as the Internet’s telephone book, has prevented people from accessing certain .au websites, with the exact cause of the problem under investigation.
Users reported being unable to access a wide variety of websites in Australia from around 4:30 p.m. AEDT, including those run by News Corp and Nine, the AFL, the Victorian Parliament and the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The issue appeared to be intermittent, with some users being able to access sites that others could not. Some seemed to work on mobile but not desktop.
Cisco Umbrella has reported issues when trying to access .au websites.
Guardian Australia understands the outage affected more than 15,000 .au websites. For context, there are 3.4 million registered .au domain names. The problem is believed to have been associated with an incorrect change made to the domain name system which prevented users from accessing .au websites.
The outage lasted about an hour before the websites came back online.
A spokesperson for auDA, the organization that manages the .au domain, confirmed the issue but could not pinpoint the problem as auDA was still investigating the cause.
“We regret that a small number of domains have been affected, but we are happy to report that .au is back and working,” the spokesperson said. “An investigation into the cause of this issue is ongoing.”
The outage happened less than two days before the launch of the .au top-level domain, where people will be able to buy .au domains without .com, .org or .net in the address for the first time.
It was unclear whether the upcoming .au launch was related to the outage.