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Google accidentally deletes $125 billion pension fund account

Google accidentally deletes $125 billion pension fund account

The unfortunate tech mishap saw a lot of funds impacted

Google has accidentally deleted a $125 billion pension fund's account in an extraordinary set of events.

The tech company is one of the biggest on the planet, so you'd think that such issues would not happen.

However, even Google is sceptical of making mistakes from time to time.

And it resulted in more than half a million UniSuper fund members going a whole week without access to their accounts.

For those unaware, UniSuper is an Australian superannuation fund that provides superannuation services to employees of the country's higher education and research sectors.

Well, a lot of people were left without access to their accounts because of a Google Cloud 'misconfiguration'.

Google has issued an apology. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Google has issued an apology. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In fact, led to the financial services provider’s private cloud account being wiped, according to both Google and UniSuper.

Thankfully, services began to be restored earlier this month, but that was more than a week after systems went offline.

With such an outage, many were worried that the problems were due to some kind of cyberattack.

However, UniSuper CEO, Peter Chun, wrote to the fund’s 620,000 customers in the past couple of weeks to quash any concerns they may have.

Chun insisted that no personal data had been exposed as a result of the outage, with the CEO pinpointing the problems at Google’s cloud service.

UniSuper actually issued a joint statement with CEO for Google Cloud, Thomas Kurian.

The two bosses issued an apology to their customers for the problems, adding that it'd been 'extremely frustrating and disappointing'.

The statement read: "Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian has confirmed that the disruption arose from an unprecedented sequence of events whereby an inadvertent misconfiguration during provisioning of UniSuper’s Private Cloud services ultimately resulted in the deletion of UniSuper’s Private Cloud subscription.

"This is an isolated, ‘one-of-a-kind occurrence’ that has never before occurred with any of Google Cloud’s clients globally. This should not have happened. Google Cloud has identified the events that led to this disruption and taken measures to ensure this does not happen again."

Google Cloud caused the disruption. (RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Google Cloud caused the disruption. (RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

UniSuper typically has duplication in place in two geographies, so if one service goes down, it can be easily restored in the other.

But with the fund’s cloud subscription being deleted, everything was wiped out across both geographies.

UniSuper has around $125 billion in funds under management.

The statement added: "These backups have minimised data loss, and significantly improved the ability of UniSuper and Google Cloud to complete the restoration.

"Restoring UniSuper’s Private Cloud instance has called for an incredible amount of focus, effort, and partnership between our teams to enable an extensive recovery of all the core systems."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images/SOPA Images/fizkes

Topics: Google, Business, Australia