Sean Breeden

Full Stack PHP, Python, AI/ML Developer
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" --Lao Tzu

Google accidentally deleted a $135 billion pension fund's Google Cloud account

Saturday, May 18th, 2024


UniSuper, a major Australian pension fund managing $135 billion, experienced a significant cloud disaster when its account and all backups were inadvertently deleted by Google Cloud. This incident, which began on May 2 and took until May 15 for full restoration, was due to a misconfiguration during the provisioning of UniSuper’s Private Cloud services. Despite having backups in different geographic locations, the deletion affected all copies. UniSuper managed to recover its data thanks to additional backups with a separate provider. The Google Cloud CEO confirmed this was an unprecedented event, and measures have been taken to prevent recurrence.

The incident was a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities even in large-scale cloud services. UniSuper, akin to a US 401(k) fund, had recently migrated to Google Cloud for its operational efficiencies, as highlighted in a June 2023 press release. The downtime not only involved restoring backups but also managing ongoing transactions and payments. This mishap underscores the importance of multi-cloud strategies to safeguard against such rare but catastrophic failures.

I back up everything on a paranoid level, occupying many terabytes of drive space. It has saved me a few times over the years, so go pick up some backup drives because you never know what could happen.

(image generated by DALL-E on ChatGPT-4o)



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