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Google Voice silenced by expired TLS certificate in February outage


Recent Google Voice outage caused by expired certificates

In an incident report revealed on Friday, Google stated {that a} Google Voice outage affecting a majority of the phone service’s customers earlier this month was attributable to expired TLS certificates.

This worldwide outage prevented most Google Voice customers from logging into their accounts and utilizing the service for greater than 4 hours between February fifteenth and February sixteenth, 2021.

“Google Voice customers skilled a difficulty during which some new inbound or outbound Voice over Web Protocol (VoIP) calls failed to attach, for a complete length of 4hours 22 minutes,” the incident report reads.

“Peak impression occurred at roughly 03:00, at which period mitigation efforts started to scale back failure charges.”

Throughout common operation, voice calls made by Google Voice are managed utilizing the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), with shopper units instantly retrying their connection to the service as soon as it breaks.

Transport Layer Safety (TLS) certificates used to encrypt all Google Voice visitors are additionally rotated commonly to maintain the connections and visitors safe.

Google Voice outage root trigger and impression

“As a result of a difficulty with updating certificates configurations, the energetic certificates in Google Voice frontend methods inadvertently expired at 2021-02-15 23:51:00, triggering the difficulty,” Google explained.

“Throughout the impression interval, any purchasers trying to determine or reestablish an SIP connection have been unable to take action.”

After the expired certificates triggered the outage, customers couldn’t entry the Google Voice service to make or obtain VoIP calls.

Nonetheless, shopper units that already had an energetic SIP connection earlier than the incident have been unaffected throughout the outage (so long as the connection was not interrupted).

“After investigating, the engineering group decided that certificates configuration was the basis trigger,” Google added. The group generated up to date certificates and configuration data and commenced an emergency rollout of this knowledge to frontend methods.”

After rolling out the mitigation, affected Google Voice SIP purchasers restored performance after retrying their connection to the service.

Measures to stop future outages

The Google engineering group is taking a number of actions designed to stop an analogous challenge from occurring once more and reduce the impression of future outages.

Because the Google Workspace Workforce that revealed the incident report stated, the engineers are taking the next measures:

  • Configure further proactive alerting for upcoming certificates expiration occasions.
  • Configure further reactive alerting for TLS errors in Google Voice frontend methods.
  • Enhance automated tooling for certificates rotation and configuration updates.
  • Make the most of extra versatile infrastructure for speedy deployment of configuration adjustments.
  • Replace useful resource allocation methods to extra effectively provision emergency assets throughout incidents.
  • Develop coaching and follow situations for emergency rollouts of Google Voice frontend methods and configurations.

In December 2020, Google suffered a global authentication system outage that affected most of its consumer-facing companies, together with Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Maps, and Google Calendar.

As Google defined later that month, that incident was attributable to a bug in the automated quota management system, which blocked customers from logging into their accounts and authenticating to Google Cloud companies.

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