Sunday, May 19, 2024

Google accidentally ‘deletes’ $125 billion account holding pension funds from Cloud; CEO says sorry – Times of India

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Australian pension fund UniSuper members faced a week-long outage due to an accidental deletion of their private cloud account by Google Cloud. This impacted over half a million people who couldn’t access their superannuation accounts.
Service restoration began on Thursday, but it might take some time for investment balances to reflect current figures.UniSuper assured members they’re working on a swift update.
UniSuper CEO, Peter Chun, reached out to members via email on Wednesday. He clarified that the incident wasn’t a cyberattack and there was no data breach. Chun pinpointed a Google Cloud configuration error as the culprit behind the outage.
The outage reportedly lasted for an extended period of time as the subscription was deleted, taking with it UniSuper’s two geographies that were intended to provide protection against outages and loss. Fortunately, UniSuper had backups in place with a different service provider. UniSuper is said to have moved a large amount of its workloads to Google Cloud Platform in 2023, having previously split them between Azure and two of its own data centers.
In a rare move, UniSuper and Google Cloud issued a joint apology. In a joint statement with UniSuper CEO Peter Chun, Google CEO Thomas Kurian admitted that an “inadvertent misconfiguration” during the provisioning of UniSuper’s Private Cloud services resulted in the deletion of the data. Here’s the joint statement:
UniSuper and Google Cloud understand the disruption to services experienced by members has been extremely frustrating and disappointing. We extend our sincere apologies to all members.
While supporting UniSuper to bring its systems back online, Google Cloud has been conducting a root cause analysis.
Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian has confirmed that the disruption arose from an unprecedented sequence of events whereby an inadvertent misconfiguration during provisioning of UniSuper’s Private Cloud services ultimately resulted in the deletion of UniSuper’s Private Cloud subscription.
This is an isolated, ‘one-of-a-kind occurrence’ that has never before occurred with any of Google Cloud’s clients globally. This should not have happened. Google Cloud has identified the events that led to this disruption and taken measures to ensure this does not happen again.
Why did the outage last so long?
UniSuper had duplication in two geographies as a protection against outages and loss. However, when the deletion of UniSuper’s Private Cloud subscription occurred, it caused deletion across both of these geographies.
Restoring UniSuper’s Private Cloud instance has called for an incredible amount of focus, effort, and partnership between our teams to enable an extensive recovery of all the core systems. The dedication and collaboration between UniSuper and Google Cloud has led to an extensive recovery of our Private Cloud which includes hundreds of virtual machines, databases and applications.
UniSuper had backups in place with an additional service provider. These backups have minimised data loss, and significantly improved the ability of UniSuper and Google Cloud to complete the restoration.
What’s next?
UniSuper and Google Cloud have been working around the clock on a resolution. The completion of the restoration swiftly, safely and securely remains Google Cloud and UniSuper’s top priority.

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