Microsoft cloud services see global authentication outage

Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure Government Cloud impacted by authentication issue.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor
Frustrated executive looking at camera at office

Frustrated executive posing looking at camera on a desktop at office

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Microsoft engineers can't seem to catch a break. After Microsoft Office 365 users in Europe were left unable to access mailboxes for a full day last week, the company is facing similar problems again today.

This time around, the issue is impacting users from all over the world, not just Europe, and more than just Office 365, also impacting some Azure and Dynamics 365 services.

Just like last week, users are reporting that they can't log into their accounts. According to Office 365 and Azure status pages, the issue started earlier today, around 21:00 UTC.

Microsoft engineers blamed the issue on Azure Active Directory (AAD), the company's identity and access management cloud solution that provides authentication services for Microsoft's cloud services.

While Office 365 users are the most vocal, due to their larger numbers, authentication issues weren't limited to the Office 365 portal but are also impacted services such as LinkedIn, Dynamics 365, and even Azure Government Cloud. On the DownDetector portal, some users also reported having issues logging into Skype as well.

Users who are already logged into Microsoft services aren't affected, but only those trying to log into new sessions.

On the Azure status page, Microsoft indicated that the source of the problem is with Level 3, an US-based ISP that provides connectivity and various other services to Microsoft data centers.

"Engineers have identified an issue with Level 3 as an internal network provider," the OS maker said. "Steps have been taken to fail over to an alternative DNS provider."

So based on the currently disclosed information, it appears that an issue with a Lever 3-supplied managed DNS service for the Azure systems has impacted Microsoft's cloud-based authentication solution, spreading to all the other services that relied on it.

On Twitter, Microsoft told customers it was working on a solution, but did not provide a timeline for the fix.

UPDATE, January 30, 06:15am ET: "We've fixed the delay some customers may have experienced accessing cloud resources," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement sent to ZDNet.

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