Feeds

Patch Tuesday update triggered Skype outage

Mass reboot exposes VoIP network stability bug

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Skype has blamed last week's prolonged outage on the effects of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday.

The latest security update from Microsoft required a system reboot. The effect of so many machines rebooting and subsequently trying to log onto the Skype VoIP network triggered system instability and a prolonged outage of almost two days starting on Thursday1. Services have now been restored.

The necessity for system reboots after Microsoft patches happens almost every month. Skype said the problems it experienced were down to a failure in its system recovery functions due to a previously unidentified software bug.

In a system update, Skype said:" The abnormally high number of restarts affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.

"Normally Skype’s peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly. Regrettably, as a result of this disruption, Skype was unavailable to the majority of its users for approximately two days," it added.

Skype said the bug in its systems was not security related, denying speculation that a newly-announced denial of service "bug" was involved in the outage. The potency of the bug came into question in a posting to a full disclosure mailing list on Friday, hours after it was published.

The last security update from Skype itself came out last October, Secunia reports. ®

1Microsoft's publishes its monthly patches on the second Tuesday of every month. Many clients will automatically download the updates on Wednesday and apply them on the next system reboot, which could be Thursday morning. Many will apply patches before then but are unlikely to do so en masse at the same time.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.