Skype: bug to blame for outage

A two day Skype outage has been blamed on a software bug which manifested itself following high volumes of programme restarts.

Millions of users of the popular Internet phone call programme Skype were left unable to make or receive calls for two days, following an outage caused by an unusually high number of restarts after routine software updates.

This is the first time the internet telephony innovator, which now has 220 million customers, has experienced a major outage on this scale since its inception in 2003, although it was down for a few hours in October 2005.

Skype employee Villu Arak wrote on Skype’s Heartbeat blog: “This disruption was unprecedented in terms of its impact and scope. We would like to point out that very few technologies or communications networks today are guaranteed to operate without interruptions.” Arak was also keen to point out that there had been no security threat to customers during the interruption to the service which has now resumed as normal.

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Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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