Bing and Yahoo Search Outage Caused by Faulty Code Update
On Friday, January 2nd, a few of Microsoft’s online services, including Bing and Live.com, suffered outages for about 20 minutes. Yahoo Search, which is actually powered by Bing under a 10-year deal announced in 2009, also went offline. Given the current trend of hackers taking down online services, it might be tempting to conclude that Microsoft’s services were once again victims of a DDOS attack. However, the reality is a lot more simple, if not more embarrassing. Microsoft pushed out a buggy code update that took down Bing and Yahoo Search.
Also read: Google Project Zero Reveals Windows Vulnerability Before Microsoft Fix
Bing, Yahoo, Siri, and Others Affected
Microsoft confirmed the outage around 3:30 PM Eastern Time, stating:
“This morning Microsoft experienced a brief, isolated services outage which has now been resolved. Our apologies for any inconvenience.”
About an hour later, Yahoo also offered a statement:
“We are aware that Yahoo Search is unavailable to users. Our engineers are working to restore the service at the earliest.”
While Google is widely the most popular search engine, Bing is used in a surprising number of places. As mentioned above, Yahoo Search relies on Bing, and the outage made Yahoo Search unavailable. Apple’s mobile assistant Siri and Windows Phone’s Cortana also rely on Bing for web searches, and as a result, were also affected.
Some users took to social media to report difficulty accessing other Microsoft sites, including Office Online and Live.com – Microsoft’s site for Hotmail and Outlook email.
Microsoft’s engineers scrambled to fix the update, but the rollback procedure failed. As a result, the company had to shut down groups of linked servers to return to a point where everything worked again. Even after Bing was back online, Yahoo Search continued to have issues due to a backlog of search requests.
All services have now been restored. Seems like a buggy update can cause just as much of a headache as Lizard Squad’s DDOS.
Yahoo image from Yahoo.com; other images from Shutterstock.