August 21, 2002 4:32 PM PDT

Verizon hit by site outage


Verizon says no hack to site
B. Henson, Verizon

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Verizon Communications' Web site suffered an outage on Wednesday after the company loaded some software to the site.

Verizon customers on Wednesday afternoon received a message asking them to re-visit the site later in the day. Although Verizon initially told customers to return around 3 p.m. PDT, the site wasn't back up until more than 30 minutes later. Verizon did not confirm when the site went down, but Verizon customers first reported the outage to CNET News.com around 1:45 p.m. PDT.

A glitch in the new software caused the outage, said Verizon spokeswoman Bobbi Henson. Henson didn't know what software caused the problem or when the site went down.

"Obviously, we do not want the site to be down. We want it to be up and running," Henson said.

Site outages have been a frequent frustration for Net users. Earlier this year, multi-hour downtimes hit Microsoft's MSN Web sites and Yahoo's photo and storage services. Meanwhile, a series of outages and site problems plagued auction giant eBay in March and April.

Verizon initially redirected users to a page on its site called "outtabiz.htm," fueling speculation that the Verizon site had been hacked. Henson emphasized that the site was not hacked and said the company has used the "outtabiz" page in the past to warn users of an outage. The company later changed the URL of the outage warning to "index.htm."

"'Out of business' is obviously not the best choice of words," Henson said.

The outage affected Verizon's Web site only, Henson said. The company's DSL (digital subscriber line) and other Internet services were unaffected, she said.

 

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