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Netflix and a dozen other major sites go offline

Dozens of major websites went offline simultaneously on Friday morning, sparking speculations of a cyber-attack. However, it seems to be a case of technical malfunction, most likely linked to a cloud service these websites use.

Netflix, BBC, Uber, Ameritrade, The Economist – those are just some of the websites affected by the outage. In most cases, the sites went up as fast as they went down.

"We're aware that members are experiencing issues streaming on all devices," streaming television service Netflix said in a tweet at its customer service Twitter account, only to announce the problems were solved an hour later.

“Streaming issues have now been resolved-- Apologies for the disruption and appreciate everyone's patience! Back to binging!”

Netflix spokesman Joris Evers told AFP that the outage was the result of "technical issues" at an UltraDNS cloud service provided by Neustar and affected mostly US subscribers.

"UltraDNS is working to address the issue," Evers said. "We apologize for the inconvenience."

“We recognize there's an issue w/ our UltraDNS service & we are working on it. Our 1st priority is to bring back service to our customers,” Neustar said in a tweet, following up by denying any speculation of a DDoS attack.

“Update on UltraDNS: We can confirm the outage was not due to a DDoS attack. More updates coming soon,” it said in another tweet.

With the number of cyber-attacks and mostly DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks growing by the minute, it’s easy to understand why many feared that was the case.