Google's Gmail went down for two-and-a-half hours during the morning of Feb. 24, although Google reported that it restored full Gmail service in the United States and Europe.
"We're actively investigating the source of the issue and will share more information with our users as soon as we have it," Andrew Kovacs, a Google spokesperson, said in an e-mail.
This isn't Gmail's first service outage. In August 2008, both Google Gmail and Google Apps experienced nearly 15 hours of downtime, an event that had users flocking to message boards to express their ire.
The outage started at 9:30 am GMT. Reports stated that some users in parts of the United States, Europe and Asia were affected.
"We're working very hard to solve the problem and we're really sorry for the inconvenience," Acacio Cruz, Gmail site reliability manager, wrote on the official Google blog shortly after the outage began. "Those users in the U.S. and UK who have enabled Gmail offline through Gmail Labs should be able to access their inbox, although they won't be able to send or receive emails."
A later blog update said that service had been restored, that engineers were investigating the problem and that certain users would have to take an extra step before being able to access their mail.
"Before you can access your Gmail, you may be asked to fill in what's called a 'CAPTCHA' which asks you to type in a word or some letters before you can proceed," Cruz wrote in the update. "This is perfectly normal when you repeatedly request access to your email account, so please do go through the extra step-it's just to verify you are who you say you are."