Several US and international law firms suffered website malfunctions yesterday (4 October) after a hosting error, with some still not accessible from certain parts of the world this morning.
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Baker & McKenzie, Debevoise & Plimpton, DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells, Jones Day, Reed Smith, Shearman & Sterling, Weil Gotshal & Manges and White & Case were among around 40 firms whose sites were affected.
All the sites were usable by around 2.45pm US Eastern time yesterday, but a number were still unavailable last night in the UK while firms waited for the host’s “corrective action” to propagate across the web.
The Bakers, Hogan Lovells and Reed Smith sites could still not be viewed by The Lawyer in London as of 10am this morning (5 October), with all three still showing a blank screen with a line of small flashing boxes in the top-left corner.
A Hogan Lovells spokeperson said: “We understand that our website host had some technical difficulties which resulted in the site going offline. They dealt with the problem promptly and it will take time for the site to reappear as it replicates back around the world.”
A spokesperson for Reed Smith added: “Unfortunately, Reed Smith’s web host experienced a technical problem yesterday. They quickly notified us of the issue with the firm’s website and took the appropriate steps to rectify the situation. They have since continued to monitor the issue and have updated us regularly on progress.”
According to The Blog of Legal Times, other firms affected included Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Baker Botts, Chadbourne & Parke, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Covington & Burling, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Debevoise & Plimpton, Dechert, Holland & Knight, McDermott Will & Emery, Mayer Brown, Morrison & Foerster, Proskauer Rose, Ropes & Gray, Sullivan & Cromwell and White & Case.
The situation resulted from a domain name system (DNS) outage suffered by the firms’ website host, One North Interactive.
The company emailed the affected firms yesterday to confess its error and insisted that there was no hacking or other security breach.
A spokesperson for One North said: “This disruption was a byproduct of the transition into our independent business. There was an oversight in renewing a critical domain name. Make no mistake this was our error. We can say with confidence that the integrity of our hosting environment was not violated and no security was breached.”
The company added: “We acknowledge that this outage puts our clients in a very challenging spot and are working collectively as we speak to address all issues.”
According to communication send by One North to the firms affected, the outages started at 6.30am Central Daylight Time (CDT). The domain name was renewed at 7.20am CDT, but this corrective action was set to take between 24 and 48 hours to “fully propagate across the internet”. Sites started coming back into use at 8.30am CDT.