Yahoo search engine goes down - Microsoft, not North Korea, to blame

For a while today, the seventeen people who use the Yahoo search engine saw a message in big friendly purple letters telling them not to panic:

Yahoo search engine

Yahoo!

Will be right back...

Thank you for your patience.

Our engineers are working quickly to resolve the issue.

In these paranoid times, with the United States having just announced new sanctions against North Korea in connection with the country's alleged (but wildly doubted) hacking of Sony, it would be natural for some to jump to the conclusion that cybercriminals are to blame.

Could the Yahoo downtime be due to North Korea launching a counterstrike? Or is it Lizard Squad attempting to wreak revenge after some of its alleged members were apprehended by the cops?

Sorry any of you were expecting a dramatic headline. It appears that Microsoft is to blame for Yahoo's hiccup.

There was an outage of Microsoft's search engine, Bing, earlier in the day - and Yahoo depends on that technology for its own search infrastructure.

It's fair enough that you wouldn't have noticed if Bing had gone down. After all, there are probably even less people using Bing than plonkers still clinging desperately onto their Google Glasses.

What a great reminder for all of us though, as we enter the brand new year of 2015, that often computer problems are not due to hackers, vulnerabilities or malware. It can be just a common-or-garden down-to-earth SNAFU that has caused the problem instead.

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3 Responses

  1. Coyote

    January 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

    For a while today, the seventeen people who use the Yahoo search engine saw a message in big friendly purple letters telling them not to panic:

    I actually laughed aloud. The seventeen people. Classic. Funny thing is you then remark on Bing having less still and I was thinking similar… (of course similar to other things too but that is besides the point)

    What a great reminder for all of us though, as we enter the brand new year of 2015, that often computer problems are not due to hackers, vulnerabilities or malware. It can be just a common-or-garden down-to-earth SNAFU that has caused the problem instead.

    Yes. The interesting thing is that administrators are still users. And the source of 99.99% (okay, + 0.01%) of computer problems is what? The user. Yes, yes, if a mechanical error happens (e.g. hard disk head crash) it could be said that it isn't the user's fault. But what might be their fault is not proper backup, no redundancy (although backup is not the same thing). And to that end, humans still designed the drive. And if a server has an error due to an admin making a mistake (which I know I've done before! I will do it in the future and I have no problems with it – the only mistake is to not learn from them… and when (example) really tired, you might not realise just how unclear you are and so you make mistakes regardless). Therefore, it is always the user. But it being the user does not necessarily equate to malice. If more would recognise this… but then it would be users' fault more often and that can't be allowed, can it?

  2. the fat man

    January 6, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

    "…After all, there are probably even less people using Bing than plonkers still clinging desperately onto their Google Glasses…."

    Everyone has a choice, of course, but a few years ago I consciously made the decision to stop using the mother of all ad proliferation on the net, and reconsidered my options.

    Bing won hands down. The splash page is gorgeous! & informative. The news/gossip items are at the bottom & can be removed completely.

    The splash page on bing is worlds better that Gobble's…er… I mean, Google's, the "Do no evil!" company????, whose whole goal in life is to profile every human on the planet & pester them with ads until their minds turn to mush & they drop dead! ;^D

    Perhaps, in light of your recent article about Google showing hackers how to exploit Windows 8.1, you might reconsider, also, at some point. Then, bing would have 18 viewers! ;^)

    At least Bill Gates is actually a nice guy, who devotes time and money to his charity work, & in spite of his monopolistic business model to push his inferior product down the throats of anyone buying a computer, I'm not convinced that Googleville is any better. ;^)

    • Graham Cluley in reply to the fat man.

      January 6, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

      Okay, I admit it. My jibe against Bong was a cheap shot.

      I actually use Bung quite often for News searches, when I want to know what's going on in the world in preference to Google News.

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