Facebook and all of its apps go down simultaneously

by Publisher CoachellaValley | October 4, 2021 2:27 pm

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook and its family of apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, went down at the same time on Monday, taking out a vital communications platform used by more than three billion people around the world and adding heat to a company already under intense scrutiny.

Facebook’s apps — which include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Oculus — began displaying error messages around 11:40 a.m. Eastern time, users reported. Within five minutes, Facebook had disappeared from the internet. Hours later, the sites were still not functioning, according to Downdetector[1], which monitors web traffic and site activity.

Technology outages are not uncommon, but to have so many apps go dark from the world’s largest social media company at the same time was highly unusual. Facebook’s last significant outage was in 2019, when a technical error affected its sites for 24 hours[2], in a reminder that even the most powerful internet companies can still be crippled by a snafu.

This time, the cause of the outage remained unclear. Several hours into the incident, Facebook’s security experts were still trying to identify the root issue, according to an internal memo and employees briefed on the matter. Two members of its security team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said it was unlikely that a cyberattack had taken place because one hack was unlikely to affect so many apps at once.ADVERTISEMENT

Security experts said the problem most likely stemmed instead from a misconfiguration of Facebook’s server computers, which were not letting people connect to its sites like Instagram and WhatsApp. When such errors occur, companies frequently roll back to their previous configuration, but Facebook’s problems appeared to be more complex and to require some manual updating.

Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, posted on Twitter[3], “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

The outage caused outrage and mirth online, as Facebook and Instagram users turned to Twitter to lament and poke fun at their inability to use the apps. The hashtag #facebookdown also quickly started trending.

Our sources suggest that its related to DNS services which would suggest an inside disruption vs. Hacker. The source continued to suggest it could be do to the need to remove data from current publicity troubles.

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Endnotes:
  1. Downdetector: http://downdetector.com/
  2. when a technical error affected its sites for 24 hours: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/14/technology/facebook-whatsapp-outage.html
  3. posted on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andymstone/status/1445058088436908045
  4. : https://www.instagram.com/CoachellaValley

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