Mystery DNS glitch shuts down Microsoft Web sites

"The Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) did not return the correct response when it was queried for a Microsoft Web site," said Ruud de Jonge, support manager at Microsoft Benelux.

The first reports of the problem started coming in "very early" Wednesday morning, said De Jonge.

Microsoft has yet to pin down the cause of the DNS error. "It can be a system or human error, but somebody could also have done this intentionally," De Jonge said. "We don't manage the DNS ourselves, it is a system controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) with worldwide replicas."

Because of the blackout, some 60 million Hotmail users worldwide were unable to access their e-mail, Microsoft customers could not download software updates or get online support and MSNBC.com had no audience. Services which at 10.20am AEST could not be reached included Windowsupdate.com, which contains updates for the Windows operating system and bCentral.com, a portal for small and medium sized businesses.

Hackers could be responsible for the outage said Simon Hania, spokesman for Dutch Internet service provider XS4ALL Internet BV. "The name server that is authoritative for Microsoft's Web sites might have crippled under a Denial of Service attack," he said.

Hania said, however, it is more likely that a network error or system failure caused the problem.

The DNS consists of many machines around the world set up in a hierarchy. "It looks like the machine hit is in the top of the DNS tree," Hania said. "Once it is fixed it can take a couple of hours for all DNS systems around the world to pick up the correct DNS information."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?