Gmail accounts wiped for more than 100,000 users

By on February 27, 2011, 10:33 PM
Google is investigating a problem with its e-mail service following complaints from some Gmail users that all their messages, attachments, and Google Chat logs have disappeared. The company began investigating the issue at 3:09PM and issued a warning via its App Status Dashboard. The search giant has been hard at work all day in an attempt to restore the lost data.

"Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future," the website reads. "Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change. This issue affects less than 0.08% of the Google Mail userbase. Google engineers are working to restore full access. Affected users may be temporarily unable to sign in while we repair their accounts."

Google says a bug is responsible for completely resetting accounts. In fact, users logging in today would receive a welcome message as if they had just created their account.

Google says the problem affects less than 0.08 percent of its Google mail user base. Given that Gmail has over 170 million users, it should be safe to assume the issue affects over 100,000 accounts.





User Comments: 20

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ravisunny2 ravisunny2, TS Ambassador, said:

One big oops!

Leeky Leeky said:

Mines working fine.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Good for you Leeky, I can't be bothered ......... mainly because I don't have anything to do with gmail :p

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Mine is all good too.

hitech0101 said:

Had to check mail after a month because of you.

andreasf93 said:

Thank god mine is working

supportme said:

One of my friends was affected by this.. The next thing that Google does is email the Terms & Conditions to his alternate Email saying Google has the right to blah! blah! blah!.....

So where does this kind of an issue put Cloud Computing into...??

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

mine works but somehow got hacked cuz my account started spamming all of the sudden. wonder if it's related

ansh1993 said:

mine is working . i am safe. i hope Google will be able to resolve this issue .

ravisunny2 ravisunny2, TS Ambassador, said:

Had to check mail after a month because of you.

Good one!

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mine's all fine and dandy...Which is what i expected really.

Unlike my Hotmail where emails go missing out of thin air...Or the sheer amount of spam it gets.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

After being out of town this weekend I was locked out of my gmail account this morning due to suspicious activity. Went through a reactiviation procedure and it looks like everything is still intact. Someone did hack in because I had sent an email to everyone in my address book, pure spam. Just deactivated my facebook account since I never had this type of problem before joining facebook.

Leeky Leeky said:

Good for you Leeky, I can't be bothered ......... mainly because I don't have anything to do with gmail :p

Its seriously simplified my email account handling, and works like a charm. Instead of manually adding email accounts to my mobile, and to Outlook etc, I now have one single Gmail login, with my extra email accounts inbedded into it, and have access from any web browser, and my mobile phone.

Works like a charm.

The only bummer being the limit on POP accounts - 5 in my case isn't enough.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wasn't affected by this luckily, but that is definitely scary for those who were. Fortunately I don't rely solely on Google and back everything up locally for scenarios just like this.

supportme said:

So where does this kind of an issue put Cloud Computing into...??

It should wake people up that relying only on cloud storage for important information is simply bad. Everyone should have at minimum one local backup, especially for accidents like this.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

mine works but somehow got hacked cuz my account started spamming all of the sudden. wonder if it's related

Pretty sure it isn't related.

After being out of town this weekend I was locked out of my gmail account this morning due to suspicious activity. Went through a reactiviation procedure and it looks like everything is still intact. Someone did hack in because I had sent an email to everyone in my address book, pure spam. Just deactivated my facebook account since I never had this type of problem before joining facebook.

If your facebook and your gmail password were the same, I have a strong hunch then you are right and it came from facebook. I know facebook doesn't admit to being hacked, but a while back I had the same thing happen to me as it did to you. Several other people I knew had it happen, all within a day or so of each other. Every one of us that it happened to were using the same password for gmail and facebook, we also had facebook tied to our gmail (contact address). So I suspect facebook got hacked, our passwords were stolen and then used to access our gmail accounts.

I painstakingly went through every site that I had an account with that was tied to gmail (like for send password reset to this email) and switched them. That was probably a year or so ago (I replied to a thread many months ago with this same idea) and I haven't had any issues since.

So I guess the best advice here is to come up with some type of method or password remembering setup where you don't use the same password on any two sites.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Passwords were the same for gmail and facebook. Going through all of my other accounts now and changing those where this password was being used. Should have done this sooner but this serves as a good reminder to change passwords once in a while.

Puiu Puiu said:

Even with this they still are much better than yahoo or live (hotmail). Thankfully i wasn't affected by this.

Leeky Leeky said:

Passwords were the same for gmail and facebook. Going through all of my other accounts now and changing those where this password was being used. Should have done this sooner but this serves as a good reminder to change passwords once in a while.

Personally, I'd use it as a lesson learnt to learn a system for passwords - using the same one in multiple places is a very bad idea - as you've unfortunately realised.

Or, you can learn one very good master password (randomly generated, then mixed around and bits changed), and use LastPass to store them all, using your very good master password to protect it.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Personally, I'd use it as a lesson learnt to learn a system for passwords - using the same one in multiple places is a very bad idea - as you've unfortunately realised.

Or, you can learn one very good master password (randomly generated, then mixed around and bits changed), and use LastPass to store them all, using your very good master password to protect it.

Lesson learned, not a mistake I'll be making again anytime soon. Have been using a good combination of upper and lower case along with numerics but that doesn't count for much once it's exploited from a less than secure site. Fortunately, no serious damage done other than a good reminder to do a better job of managing my passwords.

Leeky Leeky said:

This is true, I suppose the essential part is to keep separate passwords so one doesn't compromise them all. I have to regularly change mine for this reason, as use one master password to cover all of mine online.

This has however reminded me that I still have accounts using my old passwords (back when I used 3 or 4 for everything), so need to change them to random ones.

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