Third-party error causes worldwide IT outage at McDonald’s

McDonald’s experienced a global IT outage that caused temporary suspension of operations in several countries. The outage was attributed to a third-party provider error during a configuration change and no evidence of a cyber attack was found.

The problems began in Australia and spread to the UK on March 15th, affecting outlets and online ordering via the app. McDonald’s executive vice president and global CIO, Brian Rice, assured that the outage was quickly identified and resolved, emphasizing that it was not a cyber security incident. Rice apologized for the inconvenience caused and emphasized the organization’s commitment to technology reliability and stability.

The outage impacted McDonald’s operations in countries like Austria, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and the US. It affected thousands of restaurants, including over 3,000 in Japan and 1,450 in the UK.

No further details were provided about the specific error, although it was confirmed that it was unrelated to McDonald’s ongoing migration to Google Cloud. This migration project aims to enhance day-to-day operations, optimize self-service kiosk performance, and improve resource management for restaurant managers.

Competitors such as Burger King took the opportunity to comment on the situation, while frustrated customers expressed their discontent on social media. McDonald’s staff shared their experiences on platforms like Reddit, discussing the need to repeatedly restart point of sale systems and resorting to manual methods in some cases.

Although not a cyber attack, some individuals described the outage as a system takedown that a hacker would be proud of.

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