The great Starbucks outage was not caused by hackers

Now what?!
Now what?!
Image: AP Photo/Traci Carl
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The registers went down but the coffee continued to flow.

That’s what happened at Starbucks stores Friday night across the US and Canada after an outage shut down the company’s registers, stopping sales. The incident closed some stores and set off a caffeine-induced happy hour at others, as baristas handed out free drinks.

Starbucks later resolved the problem, which the company attributed to a glitch. “As previously stated, the outage was caused by an internal failure during a daily system refresh and was not the result of an external breach,” Starbucks said in a statement posted Saturday morning on its website.

The interruption also affected the company’s Evolution Fresh and Teavana Tea Bar stores, which opened Saturday as scheduled.

Like many retailers, Starbucks is vulnerable to threats to its systems and software. The company reported in its latest annual securities filing that it has “experienced frequent attempts to compromise our information technology systems but none have resulted in a material breach.”

Starbucks has 5,160 stores in the US and Canada.