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Microsoft sites down again

Jan 24, 2001, 16:59 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jim Wagner)

By Jim Wagner

Microsoft Corp. sites worldwide are in the middle of a system-wide crash caused by what appears to be a breakdown in its domain name server, and officials aren't sure when the sites will be restored.

Instead of downloading the normal United Kingdom corporate site this morning, visitors to www.microsoft.co.uk were told sites including the microsoft.com, msn.com, msnbc.com and encarta.com have issues.

Microsoft's IP address, 207.46.230.218, works just fine, meaning its Web server is running smoothly. It also means the software giant is having problems with its DNS again.

Adam Sohn, Microsoft spokesperson, verified the site problems and hurried to reassure Microsoft Web users.

"Right now we're having a problem with our DNS server," Sohn said. "Our sites are up and running, but they can't connect because of the name server. We expect to have it back to normal soon."

When asked whether soon would mean this morning, Sohn replied that he couldn't be sure, saying it could take anywhere from five minutes to five hours to correct, depending on whether tech staff finds the problem.

He believes the problems Wednesday morning were caused by an internal problem with the company's data center, not the antics of crackers or problems with its registrar.

It's not a good month for the IT staff at Microsoft. In addition to its DNS problems, on Tuesday its New Zealand Web site was cracked by a group calling itself the Prime Suspectz. The group targets the foreign sites of large international corporations like Nike, BMW, Nintendo and Microsoft.

Last weekend, Microsoft and Yahoo! sites were blocked to some users for hours after domain registrar MyDomain.com published a flawed DNS table, making some Internet users' browsers unable to resolve URLs (i.e., Microsoft.com) with those sites' IP addresses.

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