Fire At Samsung Facility Leads To Temporary Web Service Outages
April 21, 2014

Fire At Samsung Facility Leads To Temporary Web Service Outages

Enid Burns for - Your Universe Online

A Samsung facility in South Korea experienced a fire on Sunday that reportedly caused a temporary outage of some of its services. The company's website and Smart TV products reported an error message and were otherwise not functioning for a short time before being brought back online.

The fire broke out at a subsidiary of Samsung Group, Samsung SDS, PC World reports. The fire and outage was later confirmed on the Samsung SDS blog. The fire started in an uninteruptible power supply (UPS) for the extension generator. It was after the fire that the servers were shut down, in order to minimize damage to Samsung SDS. The service disruption, which lasted about 4.5 hours, began after a fire broke out around noon; everything was restored by around 7:30 pm local time.

In total, the outage included the website, the company's Smart Hub service, and a media content portal used by the company's Smart TVs, according to PC World. The Samsung SDS blog also said that Internet phone service was down, and service was slow to be restored.

Samsung SDS is cooperating with authorities to investigate the incident, and transfer affected data services to its other facilities. The exact cause of the fire is still unknown, yet it is believed the blaze might have started in a smoke pipe on the outside of the building, Korea Times reports.

Servers were actually powered down and services shut off for security reasons, the paper reported. The company denied concerns about a possible data leak from its center located in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province and maintained the outage was precautionary.

“We quickly blocked the servers in the Gwacheon center after the fire to prevent any possible data leak,” a Samsung official was quoted in the Korea Times article. “There will be no data loss because we have a backup data center in Suwon.”

It is customary for businesses to apply redundancy to servers, that is to have secondary servers at separate locations that can pick up service if one location goes down. It is not known why Samsung SDS had to shut down services, instead of run those services from other servers.

Some additional financial services from Samsung will experience continued outages. Samsung Card, the company's payment system, was also down on Sunday, Korea Times reports. Samsung cards were not accepted at shopping malls for Internet and smartphone users even as late as Monday afternoon. Major banks and brokerage houses also halted Samsung Card transactions; users have also been unable to use cash advance services at automatic teller machines. Samsung also said its Samsung Life Insurance automatic transfer services for insurance premiums from customer bank accounts will be suspended until Friday.

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) of Samsung advised its operating units to resume services quickly.

“We’ve told the affected firms to resume services as quickly as possible and compensate customers for all damage caused by the disruptions,” the official said, in the Korea Times article. “We are also taking precautions against possible data leaks from the Samsung affiliates. We asked them to take appropriate measures regarding the damaged servers.”