Microsoft has just confirmed an outage in its “Skype” communication service. The outage apparently caused connectivity issues this week, and is allegedly the outcome of a Distributed Denial of Service attack.
Microsoft reported that Skype users began complaining about issues with connectivity on Monday the 19th of June, with numerous hours of downtime. The issues went on into Tuesday, with multiple losers struggling with connectivity, and having trouble exchanging messages through the platform. The outage appears to be linked primarily to European customers. As of yet, it’s not clear whether the connectivity issues are just affecting the Skype consumer application, or Skype for Business too.
Confirming the Outage
Following the first complaints, Microsoft confirmed the service issue both on its blog, and through a Tweet, saying that they were aware of an incident causing users to lose connectivity to the application, or being unable to send or receive messages. Some users were also unable to see a black bar that indicates whether a group call is ongoing, and some experienced longer delays when adding people to their connections list.
On Tuesday, Microsoft updated their blog further, saying that they had made some configuration corrections to mitigate the impact. Microsoft are continuing to monitor the situation, and have announced that they will post an update when the issue is completely resolved.
The company did not confirm any reports at the time that the outage was a result of a DDoS attack. However, a hacker group known as “CyberTeam” claimed that they were responsible for the attack in a Tweet, which read “Skype Down by CyberTeam”.
A Frightening Incident
According to the present and CEO for LAN Infotech, one of Microsoft’s partners, Michael Goldstein, the incident was “pretty scary” if the allegations made about DDoS attacks were presumed to be true. It’s certainly worrying for smaller and medium sized businesses to see companies as big as Microsoft be hit by an attack.
Goldstein noted that his company sees Skype for Business to be an essential product for both his company, and his company’s clients. He said that he hopes that Microsoft is now working to upgrade its Skype for Business product, and the consumer product, to protect them both against any further attacks.
The worrying reports regarding the DDoS attack against Microsoft arrived just a few months following a huge DDoS attack on Dyn, which caused serious Internet outages across the East Coast. The incident was responsible for taking down a host of popular websites, including Netflix and Twitter. The October attacks came from devices that were infected by the Mirai botnet – a form of malware that was found to spread to vulnerable devices by constantly scanning for IoT systems that had been protected either by hardcoded passwords, or factory default settings.