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Sudden spike in "Authentication failed" errors


From 9:50AM to 12:05PM PT today we had a large spike in “Authentication failed” errors (4400 errors within this timeframe). We saw this for both Words and Cells. It has since disappeared.

We are on a metered license, and these are the lines that the failure occurred at:

com.aspose.words.Metered metered = new com.aspose.words.Metered();
metered.setMeteredKey(this.metered_license_public_key, this.metered_license_private_key);

Are there any known issues about these type of failures (or any mini outages today?)

Here is the entire stacktrace:

java.lang.IllegalStateException: Authentication failed.
at com.aspose.words.Metered.setMeteredKey(Unknown Source)
at com.hellosign.WordsConverter.authorize(WordsConverter.java:27)
at com.hellosign.AsposeConvert.convert(AsposeConvert.java:22)
at com.hellosign.ConversionJob.process(ConversionJob.java:48)
at com.hellosign.DaemonApp.start(DaemonApp.java:85)
at java.base/jdk.internal.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
at java.base/jdk.internal.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(NativeMethodAccessorImpl.java:62)
at java.base/jdk.internal.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.java:43)
at java.base/java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:566)
at org.apache.commons.daemon.support.DaemonLoader.start(DaemonLoader.java:241)


We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

The issue is fixed now. The problem occurred because a deploy went wrong and we could not figure it out earlier.

Some useful Q/A and other FAQs.
1). What was the root cause of the problem?
The application passed our tests after the deployment but unfortunately it failed to work after that. So the problem occurred because a deploy went wrong and we didn’t figure it out earlier.

2) What steps are taken to avoid this in the future?
We can take necessary measures to prevent this from happening again in future. We currently make regular calls after about every minute to determine if the metered licensing mechanism is working properly or not. We currently get alerts about the problem if it remains there for about 10 minutes. But unfortunately during this particular incident, our initial assessment is that this check didn’t work. We are still investigating this scenario and will conclude it on our end in a day or so. But we are very hopeful that we will be able to react to it faster after improvements to this check will be made to make it work.

3). If there is some work-around in case of an emergency?
Please refer to the following:

You can avoid such problems by keeping the Aspose component instantiated in memory after the license is validated. If you do so, the component will know for 24 hours that your metered license is already validated and it will keep working for next 24 hours even if our license server has issues during this time. So, instead of doing every time the following:

  • Instantiating the Aspose component
  • Validating the metered license
  • Process a file
  • Release the component

Please do the following:

  • Instantiate the Aspose component when you launch your application and keep it instantiated
  • Validate the metered license every 23.5 hours

So, the trick/workaround here is to validate the license once every 23.5 hours instead of doing it every time you use the Aspose API.

Hope, this helps a bit.