Security patch triggered outage, says Skype

A two-day outage that left millions of Skype users unable to use the popular Internet phone service was caused by an abnormally high number of restarts after people had downloaded a Windows security update, the company, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The Associated Press report said the worldwide outage, which began on Thursday and ended on Saturday, left millions of Skype users unable to log on to make phone calls or send instant messages.

Luxembourg-based Skype, part of online auction giant eBay, has more than 220 million users in total but typically has 5 million to 6 million users online at any given time, the Associated Press report said.
In January, Skype reported that it had counted 9 million users online at one time.

The Associated Press report quoted Skype employee Villu Arak as saying that the disruption was not because of hackers or any other malicious activity.

Instead, he said that 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,' Arak wrote.

Arak did not blame Microsoft for the troubles and said the outage ultimately rested with Skype, the report said.

In a statement, Microsoft described its patch as routine and reiterated that the disruption resulted from a bug in Skype software. Users from Vietnam to Brazil to Germany to the US had complained they could not log on and make phone calls or send instant messages.