Google Goes Down…. Planet Craps Its Pants [UPDATE x2]

Earlier today there was a confirmed Google outage. Everything that is Google was apparently toast according to ComputerWorld:

..Google services like Google News and Gmail are completely failing. The Internet Storm Center is saying that it’s received multiple “reports of a total fail of Google Applications. Gmail, Reader, Docs, News, Apps. etc.”

That’s not good. What’s even worse is the reason might be Conflicker according to the author:

This leads me to conjecture that what’s happening is a massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. Based on the size of the attack that would be needed to interfere with Google, I believe that it’s quite likely to be the result of an attack from the controllers of the Windows worm, Conficker.

There’s no proof that that is the case as of yet. But if true, it is cause for alarm.


Google has become almost ubiquitous with hosted e-mail (Gmail), and cloud computing (Google Docs for example). Some stunt by a pissed off 13 year old or a cyber criminal, or a problem with the Internet can screw users of Google’s services over for hours or perhaps days.

This is exactly what makes me nervous about cloud computing. It’s bad enough when I screw up something on my mail server and the box goes down. That only affects me and my wife until I fix it. But what about when something like this happens to Google, or SalesForce or i365? Businesses depend on these services. Really big businesses. Downtime to a cloud computing service could be worth millions of dollars.

I wouldn’t want to be the IT manager who made the call to move to a cloud computing service after it goes down for any significant amount of time.

UPDATE: The official Google blog has an explanation. A really vague one.

UPDATE #2: According to, a networking error caused this outage.

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