Xbox Live Is Currently “Limited”

We all have our favourite way of playing online, and those that use Xbox Live may have a bit of trouble this morning when it comes to enjoying that quick game before work or school. Currently, the service is more struggling than it is managing as several parts of the service are listed as having difficulty.

The affected services include people’s ability to buying downloadable items and downloading any previously brought items. This means that if you are looking at downloading a game or treating yourself to a DLC, now might not be the best time. If you are one of the people who likes to stream some music or videos the Xbox Video and Music stores are also currently experiencing problems, joined by Blinkbox also having issues.  Finally, the only other area affected at the moment is account management, with people unable to create

Finally, the only other area affected at the moment is account management, with people unable to create accounts, managing any of their previous accounts or even removing accounts from devices.

The only areas that don’t seem affected are the Xbox One’s website and their matchmaking, so if you wanted to just play a game you should be okay, but beyond that you may experience some trouble. You can find out the latest on Xbox live’s status page located here.

Twitter Suffers Massive Outage

Twitter didn’t have the best stability record when it first launched and there were so many downtimes that we even got a nickname for them, the fail whale. Recently Twitter has upped the service standard and the outages have become rare, especially a complete one like it is being experienced this morning.

The web service, mobile services, and the APIs for Twitter were down and inaccessible starting at 8:20 am GMT, with users getting error messages warning that the network was over capacity and also suffering an internal error. Roughly 40 minutes later Twitter confirmed the outtake, but via a Tweet on the @support channel that no one could see, because the service was down. They later emailed the same statement to several news sites to let people know that they are aware of the issue and working hard on getting it resolved.

“Some users are currently experiencing problems accessing Twitter. We are aware of the issue and are working towards a resolution.”

Twitter’s own status board also began updating with the status at 9 am this morning, confirming the outage. Four out five public APIs went down at the same time, but the company hasn’t revealed whether it was hardware issues, software updates that failed, or whether they experienced any form of attack. We’ve seen quite a lot of high-profile sites being hit with severe DDoS attacks lately, including the BBC.

At the time of writing, the servers are responding again, but the service isn’t available yet. Visiting the site will show the well known “Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing, we’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.” 

Are you missing Twitter or wouldn’t you have noticed it at all if we or someone else hadn’t told you? Let us know in the comments section below.

Here is Why You Might Have Trouble With WhatsApp Tonight

Today is one of the days where most calls are made and most messages are sent, and that goes for the whole world. Traditionally people have been using the normal phone connections and the SMS features of their phones. With the modern times come new possibilities and new services, and I’m naturally talking about Instant Message (IM) services such as WhatsApp and Skype. But users of WhatsApp might have a tough time using their favourite app to send out New Years greetings as users report of the service being down over most of the world.

It started out with reports around 4 pm this afternoon with trouble in the UK and Europe in general. It has since then become worse and users from all over the world are reporting trouble with the service. Asia reports of the service being down most places and the same reports come in from African and South American users. Users can’t connect and those that manage to login can’t get their messages to send. Some users have also posted comparison screenshot of sent and received video chats that show some of the trouble before the entire network collapsed. That feature is however still in beta testing as far as I know, I’m not a WhatsApp user myself.

It is currently unknown what has happened and if it just was a normal overload or someone actively is attacking the network, but you might want to find another service to send out your greetings and especially not rely on this service for important messages from friends such as where to meet up in town later tonight. But then it is good that we have so many other options that work on the computer too and not just on the cell phone, such as Facebook messages, Google’s Hangout, Skype, and many more.

The service was initially restored after just 45 minutes of downtime. However, it quickly crashed again and has been nothing but trouble since then. Have you been affected by the WhatsApp outtake or couldn’t you care less? Let us know in the comments. Below are some comments about the outtake from Twitter and you can find many more hilarious ones if you should have a boring night with nothing else to do.

https://twitter.com/Giliprogre/status/682660231667650561

https://twitter.com/TalhaAyaz1/status/682660154270171139

UK E-tailers Taken Offline by DDoS Attacks

Yesterday, UK based e-tailers were the apparent victims of a DDoS attack that took Aria Technology, Novatech, and Scan Computers websites offline. Channelweb reported that Aria Taheri, the owner of Aria Technology said that after the business’s website was down for a few hours in the afternoon they received an email demanding a payment of 16.66 Bitcoins (£2,871.43). In the email, it stated that if they did not pay up that the culprits would try to take down the site for the entire Wednesday. Taheri also said that he understands that the problems being experienced by the companies are from the same DDoS attack, and that the other companies had received ransom emails as well.

Elan Raja III, the director of Scan said, “Scan are aware there has been some disruption in traffic and is investigating the cause”. Interestingly enough, today if you are trying to connect to Scan’s website you will notice that it is now protected by CloudFlare DDoS protection.

Back in February 2013 Aria website was hacked but they caught the people responsible by putting up a reward. Now they are hoping that the tactic will work again and are posting up a £15,000 bounty. So if you know who did the attack it is your time to cash in. The day that the culprits are threatening to attack Aria is their “prime day” where low prices normally drive a lot of business on its site. There will be no ransom paid as that will be sending the wrong message to nefarious parties.

Taheri went on to say, “These kinds of attacks are only designed to affect our website and make it inaccessible. However, [our customers’] information is 100 percent secure as we are PCI DSS compliant which is quite a strict web-security protocol. Also, the website unavailability will last for only a short period – a matter of hours – so the customers can always come back at a later time. We are not going to encourage more of these hackers by giving them Bitcoins, because that would only encourage others to come to us and blackmail us more. The message to the hackers is that I will spend a significant amount of money to bring them to justice. Our track record shows that we have done that before, and based on that track record I am fairly confident we can do that [again].”

Reports of iPhone 6S & Plus Randomly Powering Down

Smartphones have moved on leaps and bounds over the last decade, the processing power which is confined within a portable device is quite mind-blowing. But, these devices do have their problems which include generally poor battery life and a tendency to break if dropped, unlike that Nokia 1100 model which would puncture the floor while leaving the phone unharmed.

Talking of glitches, there seems to be a new problem which has been reported by many consumers who have upgraded to iOS 9 while using the iPhone 6S and iPhone Plus. According to reports via various tech forums, the devices in question “randomly and unexpectedly power off” which is certainly inconvenient. Users also report that their phones power down even if the battery is fully charged while others have noticed the home button felt warm or even hot. These reports have been mainly attributed to the above models, although one consumer noted similar problems on the iPhone 5S.

Below are responses from consumers concerning this issue

“I overslept this morning, because my phone quit working overnight! (no alarm) I tried the power button, but it was unresponsive. When I went to try a hard reset, I BURNED my finger on the home button”

The screen was off, and the phone rang. The screen remained dark, but the ringing kept going, but couldn’t be answered. The home button was EXTREMELY hot, and the only way to get the screen back on was to hard boot it (home and power buttons)”

“Happened twice, bought 6s+ (9.1 beta 2) on Friday was dead on Saturday night while charging. Happened again Monday afternoon. Reset all settings and nothing since. Am currently running beta 3.”

Consumers have since upgraded their phones to iOS 9.0.2 and are waiting to see if the problem reappears. There is speculation although no firm conclusion as of yet that the glitches might be down to the A9 processor within the iPhone 6S, which had two manufacturers; TSMC and Samsung.

Unfortunately, the nature and power of these phones will always lead to glitches and errors, Apple will need to ensure such instances are dealt with in a speedy manner with the aim of avoiding potential negative consumer views of the brand. Consumers will also be hoping that any bug fix updates do not introduce new problems to their devices, as in the case of the botched bug fix for iOS 8.

Thank you cnet and macrumors for providing us with this information.

Facebook Down – Again

Facebook suffered a major outage, which at the time of writing is still ongoing. It’s unclear what the issue is at this time, but it’s immediately apparent that it’s a major problem.

The site went down just shortly after 5pm BST, with the desktop version of the site throwing up the error message seen in the image above. Often, the mobile site will still work if the main site is down, but that isn’t the case at the moment and as you can see from the image below, many people are simply getting a blank feed.

Of course, Facebook being down isn’t all bad news, as Twitter traffic is now booming, with people flocking to the service to complain about their other social media of choice.

https://twitter.com/g00s3y/status/647085341233426432

Even Facebook’s status page is broken. When the damage report machine is broken, it’s rarely a good sign.

Fortunately, the world hasn’t imploded yet and with any luck we’ll be back sharing our instagram pictures, catmemes and political ramblings within no time. We’ll update you as soon as we know more.

Skype Plagued by Network Connectivity Issues

The Skype client is currently experiencing a whole range of connection issues and sporadically showing contacts as offline. Skype has released a statement surrounding the network hiccups and clarified:

“We have detected an issue that is affecting Skype in a number of ways.

If you’re signed in to Skype, you will not be able to change your status and your contacts will all show as offline even if they are online. As a result, you won’t be able to start Skype calls to them..

A small number of messages to group chats are not being delivered, but in most cases you can still instant message your contacts..

If you aren’t signed in to Skype, you may be experiencing difficulty when attempting to sign in. Any changes to your Skype account such as your Credit balance or your profile details might take a little while to be displayed..

You may also have difficulty loading web pages on the Skype Community. For that reason, please check back here for future updates..

We’re doing everything we can to fix this issue and hope to have another update for you soon. Thank you for your patience as we work to get this incident resolved.”

I’ve personally tried to access the Skype service for around 3 hours to no avail but still able to send messages despite appearing as offline. Therefore, it’s possible to communicate with others through text but this could greatly depend on a number of factors, including your location. I would also recommend using the web interface which doesn’t seem to exhibit any network flaws at this time. Whatever the case, the Skype client is suffering quite badly and angered a great deal of its users.

Daybreak Games Under Attack after CEO Threatening Lizard Squad

Publicly attacking the cyber bullies Lizard Squad might not have been the best idea that Daybreak Games CEO John Smedley ever had. A day after he made headlines with his twitter posts, the massively multiplayer online zombie game, H1Z1, is experiencing trouble and people can’t login. Other Daybreak releases also experienced trouble, including their website and even the server-status page.

Lizard Squad is known to brag about their takedowns and they are also the group that took responsibility for the attack on the PS4 and Xbox One over Christmas. First there was the twitter announcement and just minutes later people started to complain that they weren’t able to connect.

https://twitter.com/LizardLands/status/619253044207718401

Daybreak Games CEO John Smedley confirmed via twitter that they were getting a minor DDOS attack and they’re working on getting everything back up.

The whole thing started after the sentencing of Julius Kivimaki, one of the kids that outed themselves as Lizard Squad members, where John Smedley voiced that the sentence was too mild. Julius Kivimaki was convicted of 50000 counts of computer crime and harassing people including calling swat teams on Smedley and calling in bomb threats to ground flights he was taking. Julius Kivimaki only got a commuted two-year sentence which means no jail-time.

Thank You VentureBeat for providing us with this information

Iraq Prevents Exam Cheating by Cutting the Entire Internet

There are many ways to prevent cheating in exams, there is the honour system, extra checks, and verifications – or you can go all out like Iraq did last week where it cut off the internet for the entire country for a couple of hours.

What first looked like something that is reminiscent of censorship in the Islamic state, that wasn’t the case according to Dyn Research. Their data showed that the data streams were interrupted between 5:00 and 8:00. The simple answer to why this happened is cheat prevention.

The nationwide school enrollment tests were going on at that time and the internet cut-off was simply to prevent sharing of the papers. The test is crucial for the continued education and thereby a position in the country which highly increases the incentive to cheat, and the simple way to prevent modern cheating is to simply disable the methods of doing so.

It certainly is an effective way of doing so but is it also the right one? What do you think? Is this maybe a method we should start applying in our parts of the world too or is that just taking it all a step too far? Let us know in the comments.

The Times of DDR4 Costing More Is Almost Behind Us

DDR4 memory has been on the market for some time now and up until recently it had one major problem – the price. The DDR4 memory prices were also the only reason that I went with a Z97 instead of an X99 rig when I last upgraded. That has however changed slightly in the background and without many people noticing it.

If you don’t care about the brand name or looks and enter a price comparison site, you’ll notice that there barely is any difference between DDR3 and DDR4 memory. A search on a 2133MHz memory kit consisting of two modules and a total capacity of 16GB brings some surprising results.

The cheapest DDR4 kit is a Crucial 16GB kit (CT2K8G4DFD8213/CT2C8G4DFD8213) that only costs €109.95, or €6.872 per GB. Looking at DDR3 memory, the cheapest kit is a G.Skill Ares kit (F3-2133C10D-16GAB) for €104.30, or €6.519 per GB. That is a very small difference and granted these are two different types of modules, but it paints a great image of the trend that is going on.

And it could very well be thanks to Samsung that we see this trend, as DigiTimes reports that sources tell them that Samsung is slashing their prices in order to gain market share. This is great news for us as consumers, but it does set its marks in the industry.

There is less profit for companies in producing DDR4 memory chips and module vendors have started to suffer as a result of this. Allegedly, OEMs have started to purchase their chips directly from manufacturers, cutting vendors out of the loop with demands of reduction in quotes. Adopting the 20nm process also brought along more costs and issues than anticipated and Intel’s delay of Skylake is also hurting the companies.

So we might soon be living in a world where DDR4 memory not only is price equivalent to DDR3, but one where it’s actually cheaper.

Thank you DigiTimes for providing us with this information

Apple Store Down Ahead of Watch Event

There are just a few hours until the Apple Watch event starts and the Apple Store is down in anticipation. At 5 PM GMT today, Apple will show off the new Apple Watch during the launch event and the store has been taken down to add and prepare for the new products without risking leaked information ahead of schedule.

Rumours also point towards the launch of an updated MacBook Air as well as new Beats headphones at the event, but there is no doubt that the Apple Watch will be the show stealer.

The Pirate Bay Has Trouble Finding Safe Harbour

The Pirate Bay has been back online for a couple of weeks now, but it has been far from smooth sailing for the site. The main problem for them is to find an ISP that actually wants to host the site.

Last Friday it went down again for 12hours and according to the Pirate Bay admin, four hosting companies have already jumped ship. TPB is currently using CloudFlare’s CDN services that will hide the real location, but Cloudflare does forward takedown notices to hosting providers and most are not very eager to have TPB as a customer.

TPB’s main goal at the moment is to bring back stability to the site after which spammers and malicious links will be dealt with as well as reopening of the registration.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing us with this information

Amazon Experiences Europe-Wide Outage

Last night, users of Amazon in the UK, Denmark, Germany or many other places in Europe for that matter, found themselves locked out of the preeminent online store for quite some time.

With this and the company’s Instant Video service was also reported to be down as well, you’d think Amazon would have been eager to report the problems. Well, they didn’t – they’re status pages said everything was OK. These people certainly didn’t.

The site is now back up and running, to the delight of the many millions of click-happy shoppers.

Source: The Next Web

Lizard Squad Claims Responsibility for Facebook Outage

As you probably know by now, Facebook and Instagram both experienced outages in the last few hours. Droves of Social Media addicts turned to Twitter to vent their frustrations at the “social apocalypse”. Now, news has surfaced that Lizard Squad is claiming responsibility.

Yes, the group behind the Christmas DDoS attacks on PSN and Xbox Live have declared that it was indeed them who caused the outage.

Now considering their notorious Christmas attacks and the fact that they shut down the website of Malaysia Airlines just yesterday, it makes it seem likely that it was indeed Lizard Squad who were behind this outage.

However, Facebook has since issued a statement, claiming that the outage was not caused by any sort of attack, but that it was their fault due to a change in their systems.

“This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems. We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100 percent for everyone,” the company said in a statement emailed to CNBC.

So who knows? Perhaps Lizard Squad is using their new-found fame to claim responsibility for what was just a glitch?

Source: RT

North Korea’s Internet Appears to Be Under Cyber Attack

North Korean internet has never been very stable, nor is it accessible to many of the citizens. It’s more a tool for North Korea to have access to the outside world and their connections, or so it is thought. They are currently suffering one of the worst outages in recent memory, suggesting that the country may be enduring a mass cyber attack. This comes just shortly after Obama’s response to the Sony hacking.

“I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before,” said Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at the cybsecurity firm Dyn Research, according to Martyn Williams of the excellent blog North Korea Tech. Madory explained, “Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently.”

There of course are other possible reasons for the outtake, and with a country like North Korea we can’t really expect a public statement, nor really trust any. Remember they sent a man to the sun and back during a night flight? One other possibility is that China simply has cut them off to prevent more conflicts to arise with them in the middle, as North Korea’s internet is routed through China. There’s also the possibility of routine maintenance, but lot of security companies that monitor the current events all point towards an cyber attack.

Where it originates from, is anyone’s best guess. It could be one of the lawless hacking groups or even a government entity somewhere.

Thanks to VOX for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of VOX

Ars Technica Taken Down in Apparent Hack

Popular tech news site Ars Technica was taken down yesterday in an apparent hack. The site went black, literally, for a short while before coming back up.

A black screen said “Ars security” along with some Twitter handles believed to be those of the hackers – “@nidohax” and “@metapawd”. A caption beneath that said “cue the music” and The Verge says that music was to be heard playing alongside the black screen.

They also said that the problem wasn’t a global one – the site could be accessed in some countries outside the US, including for myself in the UK. I first heard of rumours of a hack just after 8pm last night, thought nothing of it as I could browse the site with no hinderance whatsoever.

That obviously wasn’t the case for everyone, and we can only wonder why it occurred. It seems it was only minor though, with the site back up pretty quickly and with no news of any data leaks so far; a scenario only Sony could wish for.

Source: The Verge

 

Lizard Squad Supposedly Unmasked by Rivals

Pesky hacker group Lizard Squad, who have launched a number of attacks upon Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network (among many others) have apparently been unmasked by a rival group.

‘The Finest Squad’ wrote that they had taken Lizard Squad from Twitter.

This is not yet confirmed, but we’ll update you if there is any more information.

Source: newsxbox.com

Could This be the End for The Pirate Bay?

Police in Sweden have reportedly taken down popular torrent site The Pirate Bay. The site has also been down today, notable as it is seemingly the first time in months users haven’t been able to access it.

TorrentFreak is reporting that Swedish police conducted a raid in Stockholm, “seizing servers, computers, and other equipment”. While there is currently no official confirmation linking this to The Pirate Bay, the fact that the site is down, along with the fact it originates from Sweden, suggests that this may well be to do with it.

The police did however confirm the raid itself and said that it was to do with intellectual property, another indication of its involvement with The Pirate Bay.

“There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law,” 

A number of users have taken to the site isitdownrightnow.com, with some potentially revealing further details on the situation.

‘torr it up all u want, sweden police have shut down the main server. no more PB, methinks.”

Source: TorrentFreak

Lizard Squad Takes Down PlayStation Network! Again?

What is with these hacking teams taking down gaming servers? Not only are they threatening to take down the entirety of Xbox Live forever, but they’re still beating the hell out of the PlayStation servers. It’s worth noting that this has nothing to do with the Sony Pictures hack; Sony are fighting more than one battle right now.

If your game connection has been down, it may just be a general technical glitch at Sony HQ. However, Lizard Squad is staking their claim on the issues, and given their past efforts I’m inclined to believe they’re responsible.

https://twitter.com/LizardPatrol/status/541751366297743360

Image courtesy of The Simpsons.

Craigslist Knocked Offline

Craigslist was knocked offline yesterday (Sunday) and at the time of writing, it still hasn’t come back.

The suspected DNS hijack was previously redirecting visitors to a website called Digital Gangster. The Next Web points out that this site was behind a famous 2009 Twitter hack and another hack which took pictures from Miley Cyrus’ Gmail in 2008.

They also point out the fact that the domain name shortly had its owner changed to “steven wynhoff @LulzClerk” – a name associated to hackings of YouTube accounts and the email account of the supposed creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.

The site appears to be slowly coming back to life, but still hasn’t fully resumed service.

Source The Next Web 

Pebble to Push new Modular Smart Watch in 2015

2015 will see smart watch manufacturer Pebble release their next generation highly customizable product choices. Not only will they reportedly contain the ability to be strapped to your wrists via a plastic, metal case or leather strap – but advanced customization options are ticking in the pipeline.

Pebble was introduced to the world thanks to a Kickstarter campaign reaching great success, ensuring they could begin pitting their best against the plethora of smart watch offerings by multi-billion dollar tech companies such as Apple, Samsung, ASUS and LG.

Following the high-profile release of Apple’s first smart watch, Pebble have decided to entice customers to their brand by providing alternatives in styling, features and operation to these big-name competitors. The next models of Pebble watches will feature many secret developments in design and application, but unfortunately it’s very hard to get information out of them at this stage as to any specifics.

The most popular rumor is that of Pebble releasing modular smart watches, giving users the ability to do things such as change their wrist bands on-the-run and utilize different watch faces. It’s a smart concept as it then creates a product to suit many different users needs. Imagine a watch that you can dress up for a job interview, then simply change the fact and strap for a dance in a dingy nightclub.

At this stage there isn’t any more information available to us, including no set release date or pricing structure – we will report as the story develops here on eTeknix.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Halo: Master Chief Collection Down after Official Launch

It was to be expected, but shortly after the launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the servers began to fail. Not only have they had issues with the live stream of the HaloFest event, but the initial post-launch heavy load on the multiplayer servers has proven too much.

Patch download times are taking much longer than usual, online matchmaking is failing to find a game and ranking systems appear disabled for a few of the playlists.

Microsoft released the following statement on their Xbox Live Status page.

“Xbox members, are you having a tough time matchmaking in Halo: The Master Chief Collection? As you read this message, we’re working with our external partner to correct this issue right away. We appreciate your patience in the meantime! We’ll update you again when we have more information. Additionally, it’s come to our attention that some of our members are having a tough time viewing the online state and activity of other users on their Friends list. Hang in there, folks! As you read this message, we’re working with our partner to correct this issue. Thanks for your patience while we work. We’ll update you again in half an hour.”

343i tried offering some advice on Twitter, but it’s little more than the common “turn it off and back on again”, I’m fairly sure people are already trying this.

Hopefully the issues will resolve themselves soon enough. This has become the norm for online multiplayer games on launch day/week, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for those trying to use the services.

Thank you Games Under Pressure for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Games Under Pressure.

Ebay Has Been down for 5 Hours!

The auction giant and marketplace Ebay has been down since around noon, with the first reports starting around 11:25 GMT. This is a really long outtake for a site like this and so far there hasn’t been much official wording. The problems seems to be centralized around the UK and German Ebay sites, but a few reports from the US as well.

Users are taking their anger out on the social media sites, and with good right. A lot of auctions are timed to end Sunday afternoon, and no one can bid on them with the site down.

I haven’t been able to login myself since the outtake started around noon and have been following it since. At times you get a slow redirect to the login screen, even though you just tried to load the main page. Otherwise the site is dead and unresponsive.

Image courtesy of downdetector

Facebook Offline for a Short While

“My life is over” – Most 13-19 year olds throughout the world today. As of 1PM PST however, the popular social network is back online in all affected countries.

Today at 12:40pm PST, users from the US, UK, Germany, Thailand, Portugal and other smaller countries reported of a Facebook outage on both mobile and desktop connections. Thanks to Tech Crunch, we learned that this outage not only has a profound effect on our abilities to spread our political discontent and invite friends to parties – but Facebook’s profits are hit hard.

“With earnings of $2.91 billion in Q2 2014, Facebook theoretically loses about $22,453 for every minute it’s down around the globe. However, since this was pretty prime browsing time for Facebook’s key markets in the West, it was likely losing a lot more. The 20 minute outage could have cost it around a half million dollars.”

Facebook has promptly issued a statement about this outage, which was confirmed by website downtime trackers such as Downforeveryoneorjustme.

“Earlier today we encountered an error while making an infrastructure configuration change that briefly made it difficult for people to access Facebook. We immediately discovered the issue and fixed it, and everyone should now be able to connect. We apologize for the inconvenience and will thoroughly investigate this issue so we can learn from it and ensure that Facebook is there when people need it.”

Never fear, your favorite ‘time waster’ website is now back in action – we hope you enjoyed your 20 minutes of sunlight.

Image courtesy of The Next Web

Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Machine, Cloud Services down for Many

On August 18, starting just before 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, users across the globe began reporting problems with Microsoft’s Azure virtual machines, web sites and other cloud services.

“Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC we are experiencing an interruption to Cloud Services and Virtual Machines in multiple regions,” noted Microsoft officials on the Azure status page. As shown in the status-page screen capture below, Virtual Machines is the service most affected by the outage, with web sites down in several US regions and cloud services down in other parts of the US. “Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Websites — Multiple Regions — Full Service Interruption,” read the Microsoft-provided description of the issue.

Roughly an hour and a half later more services were reported down, including Backup, Service Bus and Site Recovery. An updated notice on the Azure page reads, “Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC we are experiencing an interruption to Azure Services, may include Cloud Services, Virtual Machines Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery and possible other Azure Services in multiple regions. We are currently evaluating options to restore service.”

Only 10 minutes later Azure Mobile services and HD Insight also experienced full service interruptions in multiple geographies.

“Per our message to customers on the Azure Status page, we are aware of an interruption with Azure services, including Virtual Machines, Cloud Services and Web sites, and are working with our engineering teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

The Azure outages come just a few days after a major worldwide outage for Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online service and even though MS VS Online runs on Azure, Microsoft assured it was due to bugs rather the hosting problems. That follows the full service interruption Azure had in the Japan East region last week. The same day Microsoft also had trouble with their CRM Online.

It’s safe to say, the cloud is about as stable as a rainy cloud on fall day.

Update (August 18 10 pm ET/7 pm PT): Looks like almost all is well now. Not sure exactly when the Azure  issues mentioned above were resolved but it seems back to normal for now. But rest assures, the next outage is just around the corner.

Thank you ZDNet for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of ZDNet.

Facebook Outage Lasts Around 30 Minutes, Prevents Millions of Users from Connecting

The popular social media network known as Facebook appears to have been down for most users today. Reports were coming in from Europe, with countries such as Belgium, UK, France, Romania and others, as well as other countries from Asia and possibly the US.

Facebook users wanting to connect to the social media website or mobile applications such as the Facebook or Facebook Messenger application have noticed that the service was down and a “Connecting” notification constantly being present, indicating that the applications were attempting to reach Facebook’s servers, but were unable to do so.

Users wanting to connect to the website version were greeted with the following message:

Reports started to come in a few minutes after the outage, which appears to have started occurring at 08:50 UK time. Hundreds or even millions of users who noticed the outage started tweeting on about it, generating a small worldwide panic. However, questions regarding the cause of the outage is still unknown.

After roughly 30 minus, the service appears to have been resorted. Even so, users are still awaiting an explanation for today’s outage from Facebook officials. Until now, no official announcement regarding the cause of the outage has been made.

Update:
I appears that TechCrunch have contacted Facebook to shed some light on what exactly happened that took the network down worldwide. A Facebook spokesperson apparently told TechCrunch that they have experienced an ‘issue’ which led to the worldwide outage, without going into more details about what the ‘issue’ was exactly. The full statement can be seen below:

“Earlier this morning, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100%. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Trans-Atlantic Network Outage Affecting Internet Traffic Between US & EU

Over the last few hours we have been hearing a lot of people comment through the likes of Facebook that they are having problems in getting online to a number of major and smaller sites around the globe, bur particularly in the EU and US. To save you the torment of trying to diagnose what the problem is, we have got word that there is a major issue currently being looked into on the Transatlantic Internet Pipeline that joins Europe to the US between Amsterdam and New York. According to Digital Ocean, the AMS1 and AMS2 datacentres on Amsterdam are currently experiencing a major outage, with the result being widespread connection issues across the EU.

At this time we’re experience a network outage in our AMS1 and AMS2 datacenters. With secondary impact affecting customers in Europe. As a result, you may experience latency, connectivity issues, or slow pings. Preliminary investigation indicates that Telias Transatlantic cable are down. We are working to resolve the issue and apologize for any interruption this causes for you.

Whilst engineers attempt to resolve this server outage, they are attempting to redirect traffic around the AMS servers in order to restore connections across the globe.

As we mentioned previously, we have routed around the affected network provider. Unfortunately, since this is a widespread problem affecting a significant portion of all Internet traffic between North America and Europe, you may continue to see degraded performance.

How long this outage is going to last for is an unknown entity at the moment, naturally this does mean for some of our EU readers that eTeknix may be unreachable and we are aware of the problems. As we can see from the image above though, there are a number of alternative routes that engineers can redirect traffic to in order to maintain a good level of service, but this does take some time to do. As soon as I hear any updates regarding the link I’ll be sure to update this post below.

UPDATE: No sooner have we got the news out, Telia have managed to resolve the issues in Amsterdam and service across the Atlantic is being resumed.