State Department Confirms ‘Defect’ Led to Resolved Global IT Outage

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Officials said it had nothing to do with malicious foreign activity.

A global information technology services outage that left many State Department officials without access to their email and digital work tools late last week is officially resolved.

“The department’s applications have been returned to normal operations,” a spokesperson told Nextgov via email.

Reports began to surface from State personnel on Thursday regarding disruptions and inaccessibility to various applications, including their unclassified email. They emerged as the U.S. government was already on heightened alert for possible cyberattacks from Russia and others—but ultimately had a technical explanation this time. 

“The disruption was related to a defect found in a recently deployed operating system patch,” the spokesperson confirmed.

They did not disclose how many of the thousands of officials the department employs were impacted by the outage that lasted hours.

“Of course, you know, the State Department takes seriously its responsibility to not only safeguard our information and our systems—but also for the safety and security of our employees and personnel. At this time, we don't have any indication that this outage had anything to do with malicious activity,” State Spokesperson Jalina Porter told reporters during a call Friday afternoon. “And again, we're proud to say that it's a thing of the past as of now."