March 12, 2004 3:50 PM PST
MSN Messenger, Hotmail on the fritz
Hotmail users complained to CNET News.com that the service could not be accessed several times during the day on Friday. Microsoft's instant-messaging application, MSN Messenger, also had connectivity problems.
News.com's previous coverage
of Passport-related problems
Privacy group attacks
Windows XP, Passport (Aug. 15, 2001)
Security problems open
Microsoft's Wallet (Nov. 2, 2001)
Microsoft beefs up
Passport security (Sept. 2, 2002)
Microsoft agrees to
Passport changes (Jan. 30, 2003)
could cost Microsoft (May 8, 2003)
The Hotmail Web site and other Passport-powered sites could only be successfully accessed 50 percent of the time, according to Internet performance measurement service Keynote Systems. Usually, the sites can be accessed 100 percent of the time.
Get Up to Speed on...
Get the latest headlines and
company-specific news in our
expanded GUTS section.
"If there is an issue, it is causing the same effects across different (Microsoft) domains," Patel said, adding, "It's not impacting the Internet as a whole."
Microsoft's identity service has been stable in recent history, but Passport has had its share of troubles.
Almost a year ago, a flaw in the system could have allowed an attacker to access customer information using only the victim's e-mail address. Software flaws in the system's security also left consumers' financial data vulnerable, forcing Microsoft to shut down its Wallet service to protect people from having their data stolen.
Microsoft does not believe that the current issue could affect customer data, the representative said.
6 commentsJoin the conversation! Add your comment