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Google Cloud Accidentally Deletes $125B Pension Fund’s Account

Google Cloud Accidentally Deletes $125B Pension Fund’s Account

Google Cloud Accidentally Deletes UniSuper’s Online Account Due to ‘Unprecedented Misconfiguration’

Just imagine waking up one morning to check your pension fund, and then boom, it’s nowhere to be found. You do a follow-up and realize it’s been deleted by Google Cloud. This is the shocking scenario that unfolded for UniSuper, a major financial service provider, due to a setup mistake.

The outage, which started unexpectedly, left UniSuper’s 620,000 members clueless about the status of their retirement funds. Services didn’t resume until Thursday, with investment account amounts still showing numbers from the previous week.

In a rare move, the CEOs of UniSuper and Google Cloud, Peter Chun and Thomas Kurian, jointly apologized for the failure, calling it “extremely frustrating and disappointing” for members. They attributed the incident to a one-of-a-kind occurrence caused by incorrect setup of UniSuper’s Private Cloud services, leading to the fund’s cloud subscription being deleted.

Although UniSuper had backups in two different areas, canceling their cloud contract affected both, complicating the restoration process. Recovery efforts were aided by backups from another service provider.

Hundreds of virtual machines, databases, and apps had to be fully recovered to restore UniSuper’s private cloud environment. Google Cloud has identified the cause of the problem and implemented measures to prevent its recurrence.

This incident has raised concerns about the security and reliability of cloud services, especially for large financial companies. UniSuper is now focused on fully repairing its services and ensuring such an event does not recur. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of digital infrastructure and the challenges of safeguarding financial assets in the digital age.


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