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Massive Zoom outage throws locked-down eastern United States for a loop

As the coronavirus-induced social distancing measures have continued for five months, the United States has grown increasingly reliant on videoconferencing options to keep businesses moving. One such videoconferencing app, Zoom, has become especially popular due to its ease of use and ability to accommodate multiple participants, which has made it particularly useful for schools and businesses.

So when a massive Zoom outage hit the eastern half of the United States and some portions of Europe this morning, a significant number of operations were disrupted, from distance learning in schools to court proceedings to business meetings.

According to a statement provided to ABC News, a spokesperson for Zoom said, “We have received reports of users being unable to start and join Zoom Meetings and Webinars. We are currently investigating and will provide updates as we have them. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.”

In particular, many parents across the country woke up to text messages and emails from their children’s school districts notifying them that due to a Zoom outage, classes would not be able to go forward this morning.

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The service was largely down in the United States throughout the entire morning on Monday, but a status update on the company’s website claimed that as of 12:37 ET, the company believed it had identified and fixed the issue, although it promised to continue monitoring services to ensure that they remained operational.

Neither the company’s statement nor the status update website indicated whether the company believed that the service went down due to an intentional attack; however, since the start of the pandemic, Zoom and other videoconferencing services have been the targets of numerous attacks by hackers. According to the status update site, the problem was due to an “authentication error,” but the cause of this error was not stated.

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