Routine maintenance exposed a hole in Intuit's online infrastructure last week. According to the company, an accidental power failure took down both primary and backup systems, which, in turn, caused disruptions to several Web sites and online services.
The following sites/services were affected, among others:
As the crisis wore on, Intuit used Facebook and Twitter to post frequent updates regarding the situation, in addition to posts to its support site and company blog.
"We have no evidence of a security breach or attack on our servers," CEO Brad Smith posted in an open letter apologizing for the outage. "And at this time, we do not believe there was any damage or loss to customer data."
Intuit advises customers to contact product support, as "questions are being handled on a product-by-product basis."
Service disruptions started around 7 pm on Tuesday, June 15. Intuit acknowledged the outage at 10:39 a.m. the next day on Twitter, and at 12:42 p.m. on Facebook. The company then posted periodic updates on both services, reporting, "We're back online," at 1:47 p.m. on June 17.
However, a second outage was acknowledged at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, caused by additional problems with the same hardware that had failed earlier in the week. At 6 a.m. the following morning, Intuit reported that all services were back online.
During the crisis, apologies from Intuit abounded, including "We're very sorry" and "Deeply sorry for the trouble." During the events, a few dozen Facebook users complained and commiserated with each other during the outages, and one enterprising QuickBooks Pro Advisor suggested workarounds designed to help with the situation.