Skype’s explanation on the service’s recent two-day blackout was met with skepticism. In a statement, the VoIP provider said: “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.”
Windows maker, Microsoft, balked at the idea that its updates caused the outage. “Windows Update is a routine service Microsoft provides to its users to receive software updates, including last Tuesday’s security updates, which were not unique.” Indeed, an analysis of recent monthly updates showed that there is nothing different in this event as compared to similar incidents in the past.
Aron Rosenberg, chief technology officer of VoIP company SightSpeed, deemed Skype’s clarification as an excuse. He noted that Windows updates are default downloaded and installed at 3 am, arguing that “at the very least, then, systems would have rebooted time zone by time zone, not all at once.” Likewise, the security fixes are normally released on the second Tuesday of each month since October 2003. His question: why now?
Rosenberg, however, conceded that the minority system of Skype’s networks suffer from infrastructure vulnerabilities. When “supernodes” — or computers with surplus bandwidth and processor cycles — go offline, the service could collapse.