Germany’s cybersecurity office is investigating a global Microsoft outage that left millions of people without access to their Outlook emails and the Teams messaging app this morning.
The country’s interior ministry said its cybersecurity officials were looking into a potential “attack” to identify possible culprits, Sky News reports.
The first issues were reported just before 7 a.m., with Microsoft saying around 9 a.m. that they had isolated the issue to a “network configuration issue” which they were trying to resolve without causing “additional impact” to users.
They later added that they had “rolled back” a change to their network which they said had an effect.
The issue has left millions of people working in the office or from home without access to email, causing chaos for many – although the issue appears to have been partially resolved by 9am.
Twitter was filled with complaints, with one person asking, ‘Is @Outlook down for everyone or am I the only one having a stressful start to the day???’
Millions of people were left without email this morning after a global outage of Microsoft Outlook and Teams
Twitter was filled with complaints, with one person asking: ‘Is this @Outlook for everyone or am I the only one having a stressful start to the day???’
Microsoft said on its status page around 10 a.m. that it discovered that a “wide area network (WAN) routing change” was causing the problems.
He added: “Some of the customers who previously reported impact are also reporting recovery.”
A WAN is a large network that can facilitate communication, information sharing, and more between devices around the world.
The most important being, of course, the Internet itself.
If WAN connections did not exist, businesses would be isolated in restricted areas or specific geographic regions.
As organizations grow and become more international, WANs enable them to communicate between branches, share information and stay connected.
Employees can access the information they need for their jobs while working from home or traveling for work, while we also rely on wide area networks to communicate online, bank and shop.
They stated earlier on their status page and on Twitter that this was the result of an internal change in their infrastructure.
They said: “We have rolled back a network change that we believe is impactful.
“We are monitoring service as the restoration takes effect.”
He originally said just after 7:30 a.m. that he was “investigating” the outage issues.
Microsoft 365 is the company’s name for its collection of programs and services, which also includes Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel as well as the Teams communication platform.
Microsoft services affected by the “network configuration” issue
-OneDrive for Business
-M365 Administration Portal
-Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps and Microsoft Defender for Identity
Teams is used by nearly 300 million people around the world, and many businesses and schools rely on it for calls, meetings, and general organization.
The company said it received reports that its OneDrive cloud storage facility, SharePoint Online service and Microsoft Graph were also experiencing issues.
Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist, warned that the issue highlights how companies need to be prepared and have contingency plans when critical programs suffer outages.
He told MailOnline: ‘These outages are increasing in volume due to the sheer number of users and online traffic.
“A lot of people quickly suspect a cyberattack, but that can often add to the confusion. It highlights the importance of these services and the millions of people they serve.
“Companies need to test their infrastructure and implement multiple safeguards, regardless of the size of the business.
“But as is often the case with the case, it’s simply impossible to simulate the size and scale of the problem in a safe environment without testing the actual network.”
According to downdetector.co.uk, a website that tracks outages across technology and mobile platforms, more than 4,800 users were reporting issues just before 8am.
The first outage report for Outlook was filed just before 07:00 GMT this morning, and they quickly soared into the thousands.
The first outage report for Outlook was filed just before 07:00 GMT this morning, and they quickly skyrocketed to thousands
Microsoft said on its status page and on Twitter around 9:30 a.m.: “We’ve reversed a network change that we believe is impactful.” “We are monitoring service as the restoration takes effect”
Some Twitter users are thrilled with the surprise “day off” they’ve been given, as lack of access to apps has kept them from doing their jobs.
However, at the most recent count just before 10:30 a.m., problem reports had dropped to 158.
Another user said on Twitter that the connection in their Teams meeting was so bad it was like “everyone was using remote access”.
Others were thrilled with the surprise “day off,” as the lack of access to apps kept them from getting their work done.
One Twitter user said, “So what do we do on our day off now that Outlook and Teams aren’t working?”
Some Twitter users saw the funny side of Microsoft outages that affected millions of users
Another said they had ‘done the cooking and the laundry’.
However, other users took to social media to say they had no issues.
Posting a meme, one joked, “When you read on Twitter that Teams and Outlook are down, but it’s working fine for you.”
Specsavers Opticians tweeted: ‘Thoughts with everyone who tuned in to see their Teams and Outlook working perfectly this morning.’
Reports of issues with Microsoft’s suite of tools initially arrived from India early this morning.
More updates are expected from the tech giant shortly.
Back in June, Outlook ran into issues that made it inaccessible to some users.
It comes after Microsoft announced a 12% drop in profits over the past three months yesterday, just days after laying off 10,000 workers last week.
The company reported profit of $16.43 billion for the quarter that ended in December, while revenue rose 2% to $52.7 billion, marking the slowest sales growth of Microsoft in six years.
The company had blamed deteriorating economic conditions and “changing customer priorities” for its decision to cut nearly 5% of its global workforce.
According to downdetector.co.uk, a website that tracks outages across technology platforms and mobile networks, more than 4,885 users reported problems with Microsoft programs.