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Square Suffers Daylong Outage Caused by DNS Error

Square Suffers Daylong Outage Caused by DNS Error

Ivana Shteriova
Fintech platform Square suffered a daylong service outage beginning on Thursday, September 7 and ending early Friday morning. The outage left multiple small and mid-size businesses unable to access their accounts or process payments.

Although the company’s status update page shows that the issue has since been resolved, Square warned that “sellers may encounter delays” in accessing certain products/services, including Offline Mode Payments, Square Reporting Tools, and transfers that took place during the outage.

Square explained in a blog post that the outage “impacted an important part of our infrastructure, known as a Domain Name System, or DNS.” DNS is a global protocol that translates human-language web addresses into IP addresses. It allows computers to find and load websites. If DNS settings are misconfigured, it can result in a website looking like it has disappeared from the internet, which happened with Square during the daylong outage.

“While making several standard changes to our internal network software, the combination of updates prevented our systems from properly communicating with each other, and ultimately caused the disruption.” Square added there was “no evidence” of a cyberattack.

DNS issues are pretty common because it is relatively easy to misconfigure settings. NBC News reported that users experienced “downtime” and “some hiccups” with Square’s services before the systems-wide outage.

Small business owners also reported substantial financial losses due to Square’s prolonged outage. “People don’t carry cash anymore, so we had a bunch of people just leave without buying anything,” one bakery and smokehouse business owner who relies on Square’s technology told NBC News.

Beyond the financial losses, business owners were not happy with how Square handled the issue. According to some customers, the financial company didn’t notify them at all, while others received a notification via email. However, the majority of users learned about the outage from the company’s apology posted to X: “We know you trust us with your business, and these situations add challenges to running your operations. For that, we are truly sorry.”

Other users, however, think Square didn’t do enough to address the issue and the company should compensate them monetarily to make up for their losses.

It’s unclear how much the outage will cost Square, but many angry customers are already on the lookout for more reliable Square alternatives.

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