Microsoft experienced an issue with its authentication platform across some services this Tuesday morning. Users faced problems signing in or creating accounts on Xbox Live, Skype, Outlook, Hotmail, and more for a couple of hours.
The issue has since been resolved, with everything going back to normal after engineers at the company worked frantically to solve the anomaly. Microsoft Accounts were back online by midday, and status pages were updated to show so.
Microsoft’s outage follows last week’s AWS blackout that left a substantial part of the Internet without media to display. Both situations have lasted only a couple of hours and have had no significant consequences, but some speculate there might be something more behind these issues.
What happened with Microsoft Accounts services?
On early hours of the morning on Tuesday, several users took to Twitter and social media to report they could not access their emails on Microsoft’s platforms, or use their account settings on Office 365, and myriad other problems.
As it turns out it was not just one or two people dealing with this issue as an isolated issue, but rather a generalized fault with the Microsoft Accounts system that affected many services of the company’s ecosystem.
Office 365, OneDrive, Skype, Outlook, Hotmail, and Xbox Live were technically down for at least two hours this morning, with users wanting to login or create new accounts unable to do so until engineers got to work.
By 9 to 9:30 a.m. ET, the first wave of users, started reporting they could finally access and use some Microsoft services. Some hours after that the problem seemed to be resolved, with company spokespeople issuing statements to tech outlets at the time.
Status pages for Office 365, Skype, and Xbox Live all displayed similar messages saying they were aware of the problem with access and authentication. At around 2 p.m. ET, most of them offered updates saying the services were up and running again.
Microsoft’s outage could be something more
While the issue was promptly solved by Redmond engineers, the company still hasn’t offered a clear cause for the outage. Amazon disclosed that the fault was on their end a while later after dealing with it, saying it was an error with a command that triggered the issue.
However, online conspiracy theorists think that there is something bigger at play here and that this is just too much of a coincidence that both Microsoft and Amazon suffered substantial blackouts just one week apart from one another.
Some speculate that hackers may be testing new tools to take down large-scale platforms and servers from the world’s tech giants. These claims don’t seem unrealistic, particularly after the recent WikiLeaks leak on the CIA’s hacking arsenal.
Source: The Verge