Hardware glitch knocks Yahoo Groups offline

Yahoo Groups, the community message board hosted by Yahoo Inc., remained inaccessible to users late Monday afternoon after a hardware glitch knocked the free service offline for much of the day.

“As of this morning Yahoo Groups has been inaccessible due to hardware issues,” confirmed Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako. “We have identified the problem and we’re working aggressively to fix it.”

The service went offline at about 8 a.m. Pacific Time, according to e-mail messages from some users received by IDG News Service, although Osako said the problem started later Monday morning. She declined to say more about the cause or provide an estimate of when Yahoo expects service to be resumed.

“We should have more visibility later this evening,” she said. She added: “We know this may have caused some inconvenience, and we apologize to Yahoo Groups.”

Osako said Yahoo doesn’t disclose how many people subscribe to the Groups service, which lets users with similar interests exchange e-mail messages, pictures, newsletters and other files. Users visiting the site were redirected to a page with a message that says the site is down for maintenance.

“All e-mail sent during this time should be delivered once service has resumed, but further delays may occur due to backlog. Please do not resend e-mail to your group,” the message read.

The outage appeared to affect Yahoo Groups worldwide. Besides in the United States, attempts to access Yahoo Groups sites for the United Kingodm, Singapore and India also were unsuccessful.

Yahoo, in Santa Clara, Calif., can be reached at http://www.yahoo.com/.