advertising
Link to jump to start of content The Seattle Times Company Jobs Autos Homes Rentals NWsource Classifieds seattletimes.com
The Seattle Times Business & Technology
Traffic | Weather | Your account Movies | Restaurants | Today's events

News, analysis and perspectives from the
technology team at The Seattle Times.
Have a news tip? Follow the links below to e-mail us.

All blogs and discussions:

Go

August 20, 2007

Skype ties outage to Windows security update, faulty algorithm

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 12:21 PM

Skype implicated Microsoft security updates for the outage that left millions without their Internet phone service. The company had earlier faulted "a deficiency in an algorithm within Skype networking software," and ultimately acknowledged that its own software was at fault.

A Skype employee, posting to a public company blog that details the status of its service, explained the outage that began on Thursday:

The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users' computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.

The high number of restarts affected Skype's network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.

Microsoft releases security updates for its software on the second Tuesday of every month -- "patch" Tuesday. On Aug. 14, the company released nine patches, six of which were considered critical. Microsoft told The Associated Press that it was a routine patch Tuesday and noted the previously mentioned Skype bug.

While the problem was triggered by the high number of restarts, a faulty algorithm caused the network's self-healing capabilities to fail. Villu Arak, the Skype employee, continued:

... this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly. ... The issue has now been identified explicitly within Skype.

Share:    Digg     Newsvine

Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
E-mail|Bio


Angel Gonzalez
Angel Gonzalez
E-mail|Bio


Kristi Heim
Kristi Heim
E-mail|Bio


Benjamin J. Romano
Benjamin J. Romano
E-mail|Bio


Mark Watanabe
Mark
Watanabe

E-mail|Bio

Marketplace

advertising

advertising