Reddit and other sites hit with "leap second" bug

This weekend was not the best one for big websites and online services in terms of their uptime. As we reported on Saturday, massive thunderstorms in the northeastern portion of the US managed to knock out Amazon's cloud servers in northern Virginia. That caused services such as Netflix, Instagram and more to be shut down for a long period of time.

Now it appears other websites suffered some outages on Saturday afternoon and evening, but they were not caused by the weather. BuzzFeed.com reports that the culprit was a bug in those sites caused by the "leap second". This extra second is added on occasion to the official atomic clocks around the world so that the official time stays locked in with the speed of the rotation of the Earth, which is actually slowing down.

Unfortunately, the databases of some major websites such as Reddit, Foursquare, LinkedIn and others didn't take that "leap second" into account and got hit with a bug that caused them to go down for various amounts of time. All of those sites and services are now back up and running. Hopefully they will go over their databases again and prepare for the next "leap second event".

Source: BuzzFeed.com

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Call of Duty Black Ops II pre-orders add Nuketown 2025 map

Next Story

Interview: We chat with Haemimont Games about Omerta

34 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Yeah i blame Linux too LOL
some people were waiting for an opportunity for that eh

i think i'd put more blame on earth quakes myself
google it..

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that Apple was affected by this bug yesterday - the App Store and Apple websites... especially since including it in the title, instead of Reddit, would have resulted in way more ad revenue.

I has this affect one of my CentOS servers - no outright crash, but it the website was very slow - a process eating up all my CPU time, somehow giving me load averages of 8.64 on a 4 core system !?, Fortunately, I never used ntp on any other servers.

Simon. said,
I has this affect one of my CentOS servers - no outright crash, but it the website was very slow - a process eating up all my CPU time, somehow giving me load averages of 8.64 on a 4 core system !?, Fortunately, I never used ntp on any other servers.
Load average = processes waiting for CPU time, not percent utilization.

"...the speed of the rotation of the Earth, which is actually slowing down"

That doesn't sound good... end of the world! I'm sure Windows has bugs like this too, people don't have to go blame Linux.

andrewbares said,
I'm sure Windows has bugs like this too, people don't have to go blame Linux.

Yup. As much as I chuckle at Linux bashing when its deserved, Windows had it's fair share too. A miscalculation on leap years took out Windows Azure for a few hours for example. It's the little things that cause the biggest problems apparently.

Oh, didn't seem to affect my BSD systems any either.

Max Norris said,

Yup. As much as I chuckle at Linux bashing when its deserved, Windows had it's fair share too. A miscalculation on leap years took out Windows Azure for a few hours for example. It's the little things that cause the biggest problems apparently.

Oh, didn't seem to affect my BSD systems any either.

Yeah but when you paid for something you can expect someone will fix it for you. Plus they gave money back to their customers.

PmRd said,
Yeah but when you paid for something you can expect someone will fix it for you.

No arguments there, I've been quite happy with Microsoft's support. I was just talking about the existence of bugs in general.

Max Norris said,

No arguments there, just talking about the existence of bugs in general.

Yeah I know what you mean. I'm a programmer

PmRd said,

Yeah but when you paid for something you can expect someone will fix it for you. Plus they gave money back to their customers.

Really? Hey Microsoft!, where is my Security Updates and OS Patches for Windows 95/98/ME/2000?.

Mike Frett said,

Really? Hey Microsoft!, where is my Security Updates and OS Patches for Windows 95/98/ME/2000?.

Are versions of Linux distros from 1995-2000 still supported and getting security fixes? Or do they tell you to install a new kernel... update... to the latest version...

It's a waste of time, even for Linux developers who don't value their time.

andrewbares said,
"...the speed of the rotation of the Earth, which is actually slowing down"

That doesn't sound good... end of the world! I'm sure Windows has bugs like this too, people don't have to go blame Linux.

Lets just hope the UK ends up in the part that perpetually in twilight. We'll at least be able to stay alive then and I'll be happy

(I of course plan to live forever.)

Mike Frett said,

Really? Hey Microsoft!, where is my Security Updates and OS Patches for Windows 95/98/ME/2000?.

If your still using them then you don't deserve any help, move forward dude, and if your complaining because you work for a company that wont upgrade then your company deserves to get hacked.

Mike Frett said,

Really? Hey Microsoft!, where is my Security Updates and OS Patches for Windows 95/98/ME/2000?.

Really?

I am sure there are many amateur developers here that have no idea about this and how to fix it. What would be useful would be to add some info/links for developers so they know how to prevent this in the future...

exotoxic said,
I am sure there are many amateur developers here that have no idea about this and how to fix it. What would be useful would be to add some info/links for developers so they know how to prevent this in the future...

Yeah.. Use Windows Servers

Another reason why Linux is crap. All the money they lost could have been used to buy Windows Server. Microsoft are right, in the long run Linux is more expensive to maintain.

PmRd said,
Another reason why Linux is crap. All the money they lost could have been used to buy Windows Server. Microsoft are right, in the long run Linux is more expensive to maintain.

this was a bug on older versions of Linux...new ones were not affected..if you don't update its your fault, and its way worse if you don't update for Windows than for Linux (all the security bugs specially)..this is like having someone running WS 2003 and complaining that Windows sucks, go to Linux..

Anthonyd said,

Source? Even serious & professional websites went down.
edit: RH post an issue AFTER the bug occured: https://access.redhat.com/knowledge/articles/15145 I don't think the patch was available before the issue hits the servers.

Even Apple servers went down, which are somehow based on the Linux kernel. So yes Linux is crap. Like I said you're better off paying for Windows Server and have great support instead of relying on a bunch of kids in their parent's basement to compile a new kernel.

PmRd said,

Even Apple servers went down, which are somehow based on the Linux kernel. So yes Linux is crap. Like I said you're better off paying for Windows Server and have great support instead of relying on a bunch of kids in their parent's basement to compile a new kernel.

Well that's rather ignorant. Windows fan boy? If you read a little you'll see the bug that sites like Reddit had was in Java/Cassandra and not Linux itself. Had they been on Windows using the same set up they still would have had the same problem.

If Windows servers are so great, why does 63% of the world use Linux/Unix based servers? Like Facebook, Google, YouTube etc etc...

PmRd said,
Another reason why Linux is crap. All the money they lost could have been used to buy Windows Server. Microsoft are right, in the long run Linux is more expensive to maintain.

Geez way to show your incompetence. Guess it also conveniently slipped your mind that Azure was down a few weeks back caused by a similar bug. Or is it running on Linux servers as well?
http://www.wired.com/wiredente...012/03/azure-leap-year-bug/

gigabit said,

Well that's rather ignorant. Windows fan boy? If you read a little you'll see the bug that sites like Reddit had was in Java/Cassandra and not Linux itself. Had they been on Windows using the same set up they still would have had the same problem.

If Windows servers are so great, why does 63% of the world use Linux/Unix based servers? Like Facebook, Google, YouTube etc etc...


No matter what, you don't see professional servers running Debian Sid, as they shouldn't.
however, the Bing division runs on BETA's of Windows Server.

Shadowzz said,

No matter what, you don't see professional servers running Debian Sid, as they shouldn't.
however, the Bing division runs on BETA's of Windows Server.

Yeah that just proves how Microsoft are confident in their product.

gigabit said,
If Windows servers are so great, why does 63% of the world use Linux/Unix based servers? Like Facebook, Google, YouTube etc etc...

Cost.

Cut the cost for licensing and maintenance, and you have a very good competition.

PmRd said,

Even Apple servers went down, which are somehow based on the Linux kernel. So yes Linux is crap. Like I said you're better off paying for Windows Server and have great support instead of relying on a bunch of kids in their parent's basement to compile a new kernel.


Apple OSX and above are based on BSD kernels, not Linux.