Google experienced a widespread failure of its services, including YouTube, Gmail, Maps and its Workspace collaboration tools, on Monday, with reports of outages coming from around the world.
Users trying to access multiple Google services received error messages for nearly an hour, although its search engine and associated advertising appear to stay online.
The YouTube website was replaced with a photo of a monkey holding a hammer and the message: “An error has occurred.”
The affected services started coming back online after 12:30 p.m. GMT.
Google crashes are scarce and expensive for the Alphabet-owned internet group, with YouTube and Workspace – formerly G Suite, which includes Gmail – exceeding 2 billion active users.
But the demise of Gmail, its video conferencing tool Meet, its Drive and Docs cloud storage systems, and other enterprise collaboration tools comes at a particularly critical time, as many offices depend on these tools to work. remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Monday’s outage follows two previous service disruptions to Gmail, Drive and related apps earlier in 2020, while YouTube also experienced video loading issues in mid-November.
“We are aware that many of you are currently having problems accessing YouTube – our team is aware of this and is reviewing it”, YouTube said Monday at 12:09 GMT from his Twitter profile.
Google representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday’s issues.
Google workspace status page showed that the outage affected all 25 services associated with the suite, including its Classroom distance learning app, several communication tools, and website analytics.
DownDetector, which collects user reports on website problems, showed services were affected from Australia, Japan and India to Europe, the United States and Latin America.
The outage appears to primarily affect Google services that require users to be logged in. Other applications based on the Google authentication system, from games such as Pokémon Go to the corporate messaging service Slack, also encountered difficulties signing in users. However, Google has not reported any issues affecting its cloud platform.
Google’s problems follow a widespread disruption to Amazon Web Services last month. The AWS outage, which Amazon later said was caused by a minor configuration change, affected thousands of apps and sites that rely on the cloud computing platform, including Adobe and the Washington Post , which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
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The service disruptions at Google and Amazon underscore the interconnected nature of the modern Internet, with many businesses relying on a relatively small number of IT infrastructure providers.
This same vulnerability was highlighted this weekend by information about a state sponsored hacking attack which hijacked SolarWinds, a provider of IT monitoring tools to the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies and many public sector organizations around the world.
It is not known whether the fallout from the SolarWinds attack, which prompted IT admins to deploy a patch to prevent any further security breaches, was related to the Google outage.