According to Facebook, the six-hour outage that took it offline with Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp, and OculusVR was caused by a router configuration change rather than a hack or attempt to gain access to user data. The explanation isn’t very detailed, but it appears that Facebook’s computers were unable to communicate with one another. Facebook says that “this disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, posted an apology Monday evening, stating that the platforms would be restored.
Worst outage since 2019
The outage began at approximately 11:40AM ET on Monday, and it resulted in a wide range of issues for the firm. The social network’s worst outage since 2019 occurred on Monday when the site was offline for more than 24 hours. Employees were unable to communicate on corporate networks.
According to the report, an update to BGP software went wrong, wiping out Facebook’s DNS routing information, which is required for other networks to locate its sites.
What is BGP?
BGP is a protocol that lets routers communicate with each other to transmit information about IP networks. It is the standard means of inter-connecting different isolated parts of the internet.
Every router on the ‘net has an address, known as an ASN (Autonomous System Number). A router might use this number to advertise who they are to the rest of the network, giving others a list of what networks they can reach. This is called ‘routing’. BGP takes this one step further by allowing routers to make complex decisions about which path would be best for traffic headed from A to Z, weighing factors like proximity.