GOOGLE IS RECOVERING from a major outage on Sunday, which took its own services out, along with those of some very high profile clients.
Google-owned subsidiaries including Nest and YouTube were joined by external clients that depend on the Google Cloud - Snapchat and Vimeo being amongst the most notable when things started going borkward around 8pm UK time, knocking almost the entire G Suite service out for nearly four hours.
Although the outages were largely centred around the Eastern Seaboard, some services that radiate out from there were borked further afield, with complaints about YouTube and Snapchat particularly widespread. Customers who rely on the Shopify platform - including some bricks and mortar stores - were also left with nought but an 8-bit dinosaur.
Google blamed "high levels of network congestion in the eastern USA" for the problems, but that raises more questions than it answers - was there a massive DDoS attack in the area? Was the Google Cloud hacked? It's too early to say, but Google has been here before and is on the case
"We will conduct a post mortem and make appropriate improvements to our systems to prevent this from happening again," it said.
If it does turn out to be a simple case of congestion, that's going to lead to some serious criticism, because it raises questions about the reliability of G Suite, which represents the backbone of many a popular website, and therefore needs to be almost beyond reproach.
It seems more likely that more malevolent forces were at work, and Google's job is going to be one of working out how to avoid a repeat performance of what will have been a pretty audacious and sophisticated attack.
Snapchat, for its part, is still reporting issues with users logging into the site, despite the main issue at Google's end being resolved. It's not known why this would be and the official advice from Snap is ‘Hang Tight!'. Very enlightening.
If it does turn out to have been a security breach, it will invite some very awkward questions about the 'secure infrastructure' at Google, after a recent password leak. μ
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