US State Department is suffering an email outage that affects its entire unclassified system. The Department's email systems have been hit by a broad outage, Reuters has reported this morning.
"The State Department is experiencing a system-wide unclassified email outage," a State Department official said on condition of anonymity. "We are working to restore service as soon as possible. Other communication systems are available and being used."
The government officials have said that the outage began early this morning and that the technicians are working to find the issue and fix the problem. They have also added that the outage doesn't seem to be caused by "any external action or interference," removing suspicions of a hacking related incident.
Not the first outage for the State Department
This isn't the first time that the department is experiencing an email outage. Officials had to shut down the department's unclassified email systems back in November, 2014. At the time they had initially said it was because of a "routine maintenance," but later on it was reported that the system was in fact compromised by hackers believed to have been affiliated with a foreign government. The State Department officials had then confirmed that its unclassified email systems were the victim of a cyber attack, however, no classified data was compromised. The department had to shut down its systems to improve security.
It is unclear if today's outage has also been caused by hackers and whether officials are telling this as a cover story like the 2014 incident. We will keep this space updated as more information comes forward.