Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mihai Corbuleac, David Bermingham

Blog Feed Post

Google Apps Assassinated My Domain – BEWARE!

By

I’ve been a long-time user of Google Apps and have recommended it to dozens of colleagues and associates. I currently use both the Standard (free) and Enterprise (paid) version of apps for several very high profile and long-standing domains. I’ve always considered it to be a reliable and cost-effective option for providing core email, calendar, and other services. However, I’ve recently fallen victim to activity by Google that demonstrates how an enterprise is placing their operations at risk if using Google Apps for their domain.

The first indication that there was a problem was an error message on my iPhone indicating that the password was incorrect for the domain in question. Since the password hadn’t been changed recently, I decided to investigate from my desktop by trying to log into the account. I was greeted with a message that stated “This account has been disabled” and a recommendation to change my password if I was having problems.

I followed the process for changing the password successfully and attempted to log in again. “This account has been disabled.” I consulted Google and found no helpful forum or blog postings on how to resolve this issue. I searched for a way contact Google associated with this issue. No luck. There is an option to obtain dial-in support, but that requires access to your account PIN and since I couldn’t log into the Apps admin panel, I couldn’t obtain the PIN. If you call Google Apps support, there is no way to proceed without the PIN.

I decided to post a message on the support forum for Google Apps. After ten days, there were no replies from other users or “advisors” from Google despite my attempt to bump the thread.

So let’s recap the impact to the domain after more than 7 days:

No email – not only could I not send and receive email, when folks tried to email me they got a hard bounce (account disabled). It is one thing to disable access to email, but bouncing email is catastrophic as communications completely fail instead of being queued in the inbox until the issue is resolved.

No App services – Calendar, Docs, Drive, and all Google App services are completely blocked. These are not critical for this domain in particular, but would be high impact if denied for some of my other domains.

Things were starting to get desperate. What could I do to restore email? Migrate the MX entries to another provider?

Ninety-six hours later, still no resolution. I’ve deliberately delayed migrating to another service provider so that I could provide an accurate perspective and timeline for this blog post, but it would appear that Google had successfully denied service to the business with no way to seek resolution.

I’d searched my email for this domain and the back-up email associated with the domain. There had been no correspondence from Google indicating an issue with the domain or an attempt to notify me of an impending or enacted disabling of the account. Google App services on the domain were killed with no explanation and no recourse.

In desperation, I decided to try and social engineer my way to support. I dialed in and entered the PIN from another one of my domains and once I got a human on the phone explained my issue. They promised they would look into it and call me in a few hours. I gave them my home and mobile numbers and made them promise to call back before hanging up. You guessed it, no call back. During that dial-in process, I was able to get a trouble-ticket issued so after a day I emailed Google Apps support in reference to that trouble ticket. Within a few days I had elevated it to a senior support person who suddenly emailed me a resolution:

“I have reviewed you case and can see that your account was incorrectly disabled due to an internal issue which our technical team has now resolved.

Therefore I have gone ahead and re-enabled your account and you should now be able to log in to use Google Apps.

I am sorry for the inconvenience caused. I understand that you were without access to the Google Apps services and I really appreciate your patience whist we have worked through this issue.”

The problem is now fixed, but not without significant impact to the domain in question and no explanation from GOogle as to how an “internal issue” can disable a business for over a week.

If you are currently using Google Apps for your domain, or considering the service, I would recommend you be aware that you are placing your livelihood in the hands of Google, which has no incentive to provide reliable services or support. Google can disable your domain services at their sole discretion with no recourse other than to move to an alternative service provide and social engineer a resolution that took over a week to resolve.

I’ll be looking at Rackspace and Microsoft as alternative service providers and appreciate any recommendations you may have regarding your experiences with those services.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...