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Microsoft customers locked out of Azure and M365 services due to geolocation error


Some Microsoft customers had no access to the company’s data Azure blue and Microsoft 365 services on Thursday due to an issue with Microsoft’s geolocation services.

Just after 12:00 GMT, the Microsoft 365 Status Twitter account posted a tweet warning customers that it was “investigating an issue where users with a specific conditional access policy applied may not be able to access a Microsoft 365 service,” adding that Microsoft was trying to roll back a recent change to mitigate the impact to soften.

As a result of the change, some users with IP-based Conditional Access policies experienced sign-in issues, as Microsoft’s geolocation service inadvertently showed traffic originating from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, rather than its true country of origin.

“Not cool. Sending US traffic to Uzbekistan is unacceptable on many levels,” Twitter user @brianwilson said in a tweet, along with screenshots of traffic being routed to Toshkent (the local name for Tashkent).

“The second time this MONTH this has happened. Earlier this month, Azure AD reported that some of our users were located in India; today it reports that some are in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (myself included). We are 100% based in Canada!” Andy Matthews, an affected customer, said in a tweet.

While the issue was eventually resolved about eight hours later, several responses to Microsoft’s initial tweet suggested the issue started many hours before the company first used social media to warn its customers.

This isn’t the first time this year that Microsoft customers have been barred from accessing the company’s services. In late January, Microsoft made a network change that prevented customers around the world from accessing the Teams collaboration suite and Outlook email service, as well as Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.

Less than two weeks later, customers again reported having issues accessing Teams and Outlook.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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