Business software as a service and customer relations management provider Zoho vanished from the internet earlier today after its domain was taken down by its registrar, allegedly for not taking action against phishing emails.
The outage meant customers were unable to access any services delivered via the zoho.com domain. Likewise, Zoho was unable to respond to customers via its own domain and had to resort to social media to provide updates on the outage.
The company claims to have 40 million users currently.
Zoho chief executive Sridhar Vembu apologised to customers on Twitter and said the company is "working hard to identify why the domain was taken down by the registrar in the first place."
Our domain https://t.co/o2TlVFrtjB blocked by our registrar and they tell us to contact legal. We are unable to raech their senior execs. Can someone help reach their execs. pic.twitter.com/rJXBolLmLr— Sridhar Vembu (@svembu) September 24, 2018
One Zoho customer posted a screen shot of a support chat asking Zoho's registrar Tierra.net why the domain had been taken down.
A Tierra.net representative told the customer that Zoho was suspended after not responding to repeated requests to take action against phishing emails.
The representative said Tierra.net had been in contact with Zoho and that their services should be back up again in 24 to 48 hours.
Vembu responded that Zoho had only received three complaints in two months. It took action against two of them immediately, with another one pending investigation.
Earlier on, Vembu pleaded for help on Twitter, asking followers to contact Tierra.net executives about the domain being blocked.
The domain take-down was likely the result of an automated anti-phishing system at Tierra.net, Vembu said.
Zoho's data centres and servers are unaffected by the outage, Vembu added.
Happily, Zoho found a workaround: using DNS services from Google or Cloudflare at 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 respectively rather than other domain name serivces.
The company is back at zoho.com at the time of writing.