Bing’s API is down, Copilot Dead

Critical Dependencies on major tech APIs



A Global Vulnerability


In the modern digital landscape, reliance on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) like those provided by Bing and Google has become ubiquitous. These APIs power countless applications and services, from search functionalities and geolocation services to data analytics and machine learning applications. However, this growing dependency exposes users and businesses worldwide to significant risks, raising concerns about overexposure and vulnerability as we saw just recently with the major Bing API outage on Thursday (23-May-2024)


Search capabilities for ChatGPT, Copilot, DuckDuckGo, Bing Image Creator, Ecosia and other platforms stopped working Thursday morning at around 3AM ET linked to Bing’s API and any service that relies upon it. Microsoft’s web search engine, Bing was also affected but came back online eventually.

Duck Duck Go serive error - Bing API failure


Copilot was also dead, displaying a loading loop and (x) failure icon prevented users from accessing the service. ChatGPT web searches, also displayed an error message preventing users fropm making any search inquiry.


OpenAI posted a note at 11AM ET indicating the issue had been resolved, saying,


“Between around 10:10 PM PT yesterday and 6:50 AM PT today, we experienced a partial outage affecting ChatGPT’s web-browsing capabilities due to Bing being unavailable.”


DuckDuckGo posted that “we’re coming back up” at around 10:30AM ET, and so did Ecosia.  Just after 12:00PM, Microsoft’s posted on X saying,


“We’re broadening our mitigation efforts following signs of partial recovery for and other features.”



The Backbone of Modern Applications


APIs from tech giants such as Bing, Google, OpenAI are foundational to numerous digital services. For example, Google's API suite includes powerful tools for maps, search, and machine learning, while Bing's APIs offer competitive search and data capabilities. These APIs enable developers to integrate sophisticated features without reinventing the wheel, thus accelerating innovation and efficiency.



Single Points of Failure


The convenience and power of these APIs come with a critical drawback: they create single points of failure. When an application is heavily dependent on an external API, any disruption—whether due to outages, policy changes, or deprecation—can cause significant downtime and service disruptions. This risk is not hypothetical; past outages of major API services have already demonstrated their potential to halt business operations, disrupt services, and erode user trust.



Privacy and Data Security Concerns


Another major concern is data security and privacy. When using APIs from major tech companies, sensitive data often flows through and is stored by these third parties. This centralization of data poses significant risks, including unauthorized access, data breaches, and misuse of personal information. Furthermore, privacy policies can change, sometimes without clear communication, leaving users uncertain about the handling of their data.



Geopolitical and Regulatory Risks


APIs from global tech giants are also subject to geopolitical tensions and regulatory changes. For instance, legal disputes or government actions can lead to restricted access or forced compliance with local laws, which may not align with user or business interests. This is especially pertinent for services that operate across international borders, where different jurisdictions impose varying regulations on data usage and privacy.



Mitigating the Risks


To mitigate these risks, diversification is key. Businesses should avoid over-reliance on a single API provider. Exploring alternative APIs, including open-source and regional options, can provide a buffer against disruptions. Additionally, implementing robust data protection measures and staying informed about regulatory changes are crucial steps in safeguarding against overexposure. Moreover, fostering an ecosystem of competition and innovation in API services can reduce the concentration of power and enhance resilience. Encouraging the development of decentralized and interoperable API solutions can help create a more balanced and secure digital infrastructure.



While Bing and Google APIs offer unparalleled capabilities that drive much of today's digital innovation, the critical dependencies they create pose significant vulnerabilities. Overexposure to these APIs can lead to service disruptions, data privacy issues, and compliance challenges. By diversifying dependencies and enhancing data protection strategies, users and businesses can better navigate the complexities of this digital ecosystem and reduce their exposure to potential risks.


Thursday 25-May-2024   we wrote:- 



Bing’s API is down, impacting Copilot, DuckDuckGo and ChatGPT web search, Bing Image Creator and more......


Microsoft Bing major Outage affecting lots of services


CoPilot, Microsoft’s AI assistant tool offered within the Bing search engine isn’t operating at the moment. The core Bing search service itself was affected earlier, not providing search results, although is back working again.


Many Services connecting to Bing's API are severly impacted, i.e. DuckDuckGo and Ecosia are dead in the water. ChatGPT web searches, also throw an error and Bings Image Creator is also offline.