Microsoft Sites Down Again

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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