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RealTime IT News

Microsoft: Outage Due to Human Error

Microsoft Corp. sites were back online Thursday morning after what company officials are saying was a "mistaken configuration."

According to a statement released by the software giant Wednesday night, one of its own, and not a malicious hacker, was to blame for a "configuration change to the routers on the edge of Microsoft's Domain Name Server network."

All told, the technician was responsible for the disruption of a wide range of Web sites owned by Microsoft, including company flagships Microsoft.com, MSN.com, MSNBC.com, Hotmail.com and Encarta.com.

The problems started Tuesday evening around 6 p.m. CST, by the many reports from readers unable to access the sites. Several sites were back online early Wednesday afternoon but Microsoft's corporate sites, foreign and domestic, were down for nearly 24 hours.

The altered configuration settings were discovered sometime around 5 p.m. Wednesday night PST, and changes were immediately made. Officials said a "massive improvement" was immediately noticed in the DNS network.

It was reported earlier that a Denial of Service attack was a possible reason for the network-wide shutdown, something company officials categorically deny.

"This was an operational error, and not the result of any issue with Microsoft or third-party products nor the security of our networks," the statement read. "Microsoft regrets any inconvenience caused to customers due to this issue."