Menu
Microsoft's multi-factor authentication service flakes out, again

Microsoft's multi-factor authentication service flakes out, again

For the second time in nine days, the Multi-Factor Authentication system used by Microsoft for Office 365 logins failed

Credit: Martyn Williams/IDG

Just one day after Microsoft came clean with an explanation of a 19 November outage that blocked users of Office 365 from logging into their accounts using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), the service has again went on the fritz.

"Starting at 14:25 UTC on 27 Nov 2018, customers using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) may experience intermittent issues signing into Azure resources, such as Azure Active Directory, when MFA is required by policy," read the Azure status dashboard.

Two and a half hours later, the dashboard reported that after resolving a problem with an earlier DNS (Domain Name Service) issue, engineers rebooted the services.

"They observed a decrease in the failure rate after the reboot cycles," the dashboard concluded.

Tuesday's outage affected users in the three broad geographic areas defined by the dashboard: the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.

The latest MFA problem came the day after Microsoft described last week's 14-hour failure in an after action-style report posted to the Azure dashboard. In a long report - over 1,150 words - Microsoft identified three root causes, detailed the failures and steps engineers took to recover the service, and spelled out steps it plans to take over the next two-plus months to review and update its processes and procedures.

"We sincerely apologise for the impact to affected customers," Microsoft said near the report's end.

Calling the pair of outages "troubling," analyst Wes Miller of Directions on Microsoft pointed out that a service like Azure Active Directory and its MFA "has to be designed to be incredibly robust."

He was encouraged, he continued, by the after-action report's tone.

"My hope is that the [Azure] team has the right perspective. It looks like they do," he said of the outlined steps to reevaluate service update deployments and find ways to restore service faster.

Engineers won't rush to judge the problem and propose a fix, Miller said, one way to easily make things worse. And unlike the Windows 10 group, the Azure team has been forthcoming about causes and reactions.

Microsoft promised that an accounting of Tuesday's outage would be posted on the Azure dashboard within 72 hours.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftOffice 365

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019

Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019

The channel came together for the inaugural Reseller News Emerging Leaders Forum in New Zealand, created to provide a program that identifies, educates and showcases the upcoming talent of the ICT industry. Hosted as a half day event, attendees heard from industry champions as keynoters and panelists talked about future opportunities and leadership paths and joined mentoring sessions with members of the ICT industry Hall of Fame. The forum concluded with 30 Under 30 Tech Awards across areas of Sales, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Management, Technical and Human Resources. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019
Show Comments