Yesterday, people all over the world found themselves in the middle of a strange and unexpected emergency. As the COVID pandemic has thrown us all into being completely dependent on the internet – suddenly Google and its all the services went down.
While Google going down is an extremely rare thing, it happened nonetheless – severely affecting people’s lives and many other essential services and work in the world.
What was the cause behind this mysterious outage on Google’s authentication systems? Was there some kind of foul play involved or something else?
Only the Google search engine was not affected, everything else was down
People from all corners of the world reported problems with Gmail, Google Drive, Android Play Store, Google Maps, calendars, and more. Google applications such as YouTube, Gmail, and Docs had complete service outages and people weren’t able to use them at all.
It was also reported that synced offline documents were working just fine, but nothing was accessible online.
The only thing remaining unaffected was Google’s search engine.
Fortunately, the outage lasted for only half an hour, but it had caused significant damage by then.
Google’s security systems were affected
Google released a statement saying that the problem had hit the authentication system of Google, which is used for login and security and privacy of your Google account.
This also reflected in the fact the people were able to use Google services in incognito mode, which doesn’t keep a log of your cookies and user data.
The more alarming thing was that this outage also affected Google-connected smart devices such as Home speakers and many other features of Google Home. Several people complained that they were unable to switch on or off the lights in their homes since the bulbs were connected to the internet.
This paints an alarming picture of how dependent we have become on Google
While it lasted only for a short period of time, even less than an hour in some parts of the world and nearly 45 minutes everywhere else – it just paints an eerie picture nobody wants to see.
Millions of people have become so fatally dependent on online services and many services in the cloud, that humanity just halts without it.
It was especially hard for people working from home who were not able to use Google Docs or Gmail, and then were forced by their employers to clock in extra hours.
That doesn’t change the fact most people are heavily dependent on Google services, and they need reassurances about any further outages and what Google plans on doing about it.
Google has promised that they have restored all the services and apologized to everyone who was affected.
Featured Image Courtesy: Newb