Cyber Building In Jakarta Caught Fire And Crippled Many Of Indonesia's Online Services


Gedung Cyber (Cyber Building) is a building in South of Jakarta that houses a number of tech companies.

Built in 1995, the building that is located at Mampang Prapatan, is close to one of Jakarta's business centers, and is not far from the British Embassy, as well as Australian and the Netherlands Embassy.

And this time, the building caught fire.

Because the building is the office headquarters for a number of tech companies, including Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Indonesia, as well as a home to a number of data centers, the fire temporarily crippled a number of online services.

The city’s fire department said that the flame broke out at the Cyber Building in Mampang Prapatan business area at around 12:35 p.m. local time.

Cyber 1 Building fire
Smoke that came from the fire clouded the building and its surroundings. (Credit: Akbar Nugroho Gumay/ANTARA FOTO)

"The incident occurs on the second floor of the building," said Mulat Wijayanto, a spokesman for the department, told reporters. "Thick smoke blankets the building and we received information that several people are being trapped inside."

The extent of the damage was not immediately known, but according to the officials, at least two people were dead from smoke inhalation following the incident.

The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes, and quickly after that, rescue workers installed blowers to clear the 11-story building from smoke.

One of the most affected by this incident, is the data center that manages the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) software, according to Communication and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate.

CEIR functions to identify International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of various telecommunication devices, such as smartphones, that enter Indonesia, so that they can get services from local cellular operators.

"The server that manages CEIR in Cyber 1 Building has been shut down, so the IMEI identification process through CEIR has been disrupted," said Johnny in an official statement on Friday, 3rd December.

He added that the disruption also affected other services that are related to IMEI registration by the CEIR software. They include:

  1. The IMEI registration process for mobile devices, handheld computers, and tablets for passenger baggage and consignments carried out through the Directorate General of Customs and Excise, Finance Ministry.
  2. The IMEI registration process for mobile devices, handheld computers, and tablets belonging to state guests, VVIPs, and VIPs carried out through the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
  3. The IMEI registration process for devices owned by foreign tourists carried out through Cellular Mobile Telecommunication Network Operators.
  4. The IMEI Production Registration Certificate (TPP) registration process that is carried out through the Industry Ministry.
  5. The process of replacing a new SIM card through a cellular mobile telecommunication network operator.
Johnny G. Plate
Johnny Gerard Plate, serving as Indonesia's Minister of Communication and Information Technology.

“We apologize for the inconvenience caused,” the Minister said.

Others that were affected, also include Shopee. The company's ShopeePay service was experiencing problems due to the fire.

“Due to a fire in the Cyber ​​Building, several Shopee services as well as the services of our partners were disrupted,” said Head of Public Affairs Shopee Indonesia, Radynal Nataprawira.

“Users and partners don’t need to worry, transactions that have been carried out by customers and partners will be able to be carried out again immediately. All data and accounts are also in a safe condition,” he explained.

Fortunately, the fire didn't completely crippled other offices and services, and that the Cyber 1 building could continue operating shortly after the rescuers put out the fire and contained the damages.

“In addition to the second floor, it is already operating. Employees are using the emergency stairs because the elevator is not functioning yet,” said one of the rescuers.

It is reported that the fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit.