For the second week in a row, Microsoft’s MFA service suffered an outage
On November 19th, Microsoft experienced a 14 hour service interruption as they experienced a problem with their multi-factor authentication (MFA) service that mostly affected their customers in Europe. Another Microsoft MFA outage recently impacted a large number of customers. Most of the customers affected by the most recent issues seem to be U.S. based.
The most recent issues started on November 27th around 9:15am ET, reports started appearing on Twitter that a number of users were having trouble signing into Office 365 because of an issue with MFA. Office 365 is one of just a number of Microsoft services that uses Azure Active Directory MFA to authenticate user logins.
Microsoft’s Azure status dashboard was updated around 10:15 to reflect the impact. The statement read, “Impacted customers may experience failures when attempting to authenticate into Azure resources where MFA is required by policy. Engineers are investigating the issue and the next update will be provided in 60 minutes or as events warrant.”
The Microsoft 365 Status account also posted the following message to Twitter: “We’re investigating an issue where users may be unable to sign in using Multi-Factor Authorization (MFA). All details can be found under Service Incident (SI) #MO165847.”
Microsoft updated twice more, the first stating, “CURRENT MITIGATION: Engineers are currently in the process of cycling backend services responsible for processing MFA requests. This mitigation step is being rolled out region by region with a number of regions already completed. Engineers are reassessing impact after each region completes.”
The second update identified the problem and states, “Engineers have also determined a Domain Name System (DNS) issue caused sign-in requests to fail, but this issue is mitigated and engineers are restarting the authentication infrastructure.”
These recent issues with MFA, along with the problems that Microsoft has been having with their October update, are unsettling reminders that issues still do occur with Microsoft’s products. Given time, however, they can be sorted out and fixed.
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