By Guy Page
Microsoft still can’t explain the glitch that crashed E911 service nationwide and stripped Vermont state government employees of email and Microsoft Teams service for about three hours Monday evening, state IT officials say. There is “no indication” of malicious activity, Microsoft claims.
Unlike in many states nationwide, no 911 emergency service was lost in Vermont, Digital Services Administration Secretary and Chief Information Officer John Quinn told Vermont Daily Thursday morning. By way of explanation, he forwarded this note from Barb Neal, executive director of Vermont Enhanced 911 Emergency Response System:
Microsoft global outage
On September 28th at roughly 5:35PM Microsoft began to experience a global disruption which impacted all of its partners around the world. The issue prevented user within state government from sending and receiving email, joining MS Teams meetings as well as using Azure Active Directory Services.
Microsoft identified a “recent change” which it believed to be responsible for the disruption. After rolling back the change Microsoft reported that it was not observing an increase in successful connections. Once the rollback did not result in a fix to the outage Microsoft begin rerouting traffic to “alternative infrastructure”. While Microsoft has to date not released a root cause to the issue it has given the statement :
We’ve fixed the service interruption that some customers may have experienced while performing authentication operations. At this time, we’ve seen no indication that this is the result of malicious activity.
As of 9/28/2020 at 10:00 PM EST all services in use by the State of Vermont were restored and functional.
Vermont Daily reports this information because while most Vermonters won’t lose much sleep over state employees being unable to exchange emails for a few hours, the potential loss of 911 services for even a few hours — as occurred in many cities nationwide Monday night — is cause for concern. And during a time of crisis, even a few unexpected lost hours of lost emails and cyber-meeting could impede the state’s emergency response capability.
Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.