Feeds

Windows Live suffers user details identity crisis

Microsoft fesses to yet another online data blunder

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft’s online Windows Live estate was hit by a major server shutdown for about an hour yesterday, after some users of the service complained that they could see other people’s accounts.

“As some of you may have noticed (we heard from you on Twitter!) we had an issue with the Windows Live ID service between 9 and 10AM PST this morning,” admitted Microsoft’s Arthur De Haan yesterday.

“Due to the failure of one server, Windows Live ID logins were failing for some customers, and this increased the load on our remaining servers. We took the problematic server offline and brought a new server into rotation. We identified the root cause and fixed it in less than an hour, but it took a while to resolve the logjam that had built up in the meantime, and to redistribute the load to normal levels.”

We heard from several users affected by the Windows Live security flaw.

"A friend of mine logged into Hotmail through her phone and opened someone else's Hotmail account. She tried twice more and it happened both times, each time opening yet another person's Hotmail," Reg reader Denise Marshall told us.

"This happened when Hotmail's servers were down earlier today but somehow she was able to get on with her phone... I thought this is something really important people should be aware about, especially with online banking and important personal info online."

Microsoft said it would “fully investigate the cause” and apologised for its latest cloud-based failure. In the past few months alone Microsoft has coughed to a series of online user data cockups.

It’s not clear at this stage if Microsoft decided to shutter one of its servers while the company’s wonks attempted to fix the problem, or if the system simply died on its arse.

Microsoft's Windows Live ID system went offline at around 12.30pm New York time, according to user reports. It prevented some people from accessing their Hotmail accounts and other Windows Live services. Redmond said it manages around 460 million online IDs worldwide.

We’ve asked Microsoft to tell us more about what went wrong and whether yesterday morning’s three-hour outage of the firm’s newly launched Windows Phone 7 Series website was related to the Windows Live server blunder.

"The 'Service Unavailable' message [shown on the Windows Phone 7 Series site yesterday] is a well known error message for IIS servers that don't have the correct version of .NET installed or for rights permissions. I don't think that error would be created from too much traffic as it is a message from the web server," noted Reg reader Dave Simmons.

The Register will update this story if we hear back from Microsoft. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.