Around 4 p.m. GMT today, all of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down simultaneously across the world. The social networking sites and the messaging app are currently unavailable; nevertheless, the company has not given a reason for this.
It is uncertain what caused the problem, however Facebook has had outages previously. The social media behemoth’s platforms unexpectedly went down in June and April this year, owing to a “network configuration problem.”
Users of WhatsApp, on the other hand, flocked to Telegram and other instant messaging apps as the most popular vanished. Twitter was in high spirits as Facebook and Instagram users flock to its platform and a tweet from the official account said: “hello literally everyone.”
hello literally everyone
— Twitter (@Twitter) October 4, 2021
Down Detector, who reports issues at apps, popular sites and carriers, saw issues from operators. Carriers including T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T in the US, Virgin Media, BT, Vodafone and Sky in UK, and many more had various problems reported on the site. It seemed to many users, since Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are down, the internet is broken.
Why did Facebook crash?
A famous security expert and blogger Brian Krebs, told that Facebook’s DNS records were taken from the border gateway protocol (BGP).
Confirmed: The DNS records that tell systems how to find https://t.co/qHzVq2Mr4E or https://t.co/JoIPxXI9GI got withdrawn this morning from the global routing tables. Can you imagine working at FB right now, when your email no longer works & all your internal FB-based tools fail?
— briankrebs (@briankrebs) October 4, 2021
But what is BGP now?
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.
So what happened to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, why are they not working?
To explain it basically, it is like their records are deleted from the address book. And when you try to open these websites or use the apps, your device cannot find them.
On the other hand, it is not clear why this happened. It might have been an internal issue, a misconfiguration, or an update that went awry according to Krebs.
We don't know why this change was made. It could well have been the result of an internal, system wide change or update that went awry. It's all speculation at this point why. FB alone is in control over its DNS records.
— briankrebs (@briankrebs) October 4, 2021
Did Facebook explain what happened?
No, but their Chief Technology Officer apologized for the outage.
He said: “*Sincere* apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now. We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible.”
*Sincere* apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now. We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible
— Mike Schroepfer (@schrep) October 4, 2021
Steve Gibson, a security researcher, tweeted that someone on the Facebook recovery team told that it was the BGP causing the problem. And it happened because of an update went wrong. And the people who were trying to reverse the mistake were locked out of the system. And funny, but who had physical access to the serves did not have the authorization.
Someone on the Facebook recovery effort has explained that a routine BGP update went wrong, which in turn locked out those with remote access who could reverse the mistake. Those who do have physical access do not have authorization on the servers. Catch-22.
— Steve Gibson (@SGgrc) October 4, 2021
When should we expect Facebook, Instagram or Facebook back?
Since the problem is known, it won’t take as much time as it was offline. Fingers crossed in the name of all social media addicts and time-wasters.