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
Microsoft's IP address, 184.108.40.206, 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