21.10.2021

What are the reasons for the failure of social networks Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp?

On Monday, October 4, several services of the American corporation Facebook were unavailable around the world. The failure occurred at about 18.30 Moscow time and initially affected Facebook, but later WhatsApp and Instagram owned by the company also “lay down”.

Presumably, the cause of the problem lies in the DNS records that disappeared from the global routing tables, that is, in the missing links from the system between the domain name and the IP address of the server on which the site is actually located.

Sources of the largest media confirm this version. Brian Krebs, a journalist for the Independent, also said on  Twitter that the error occurred due to a planned update of BGP (Dynamic Routing Protocol), and, according to him, the update blocked access for remote users, and therefore only people with physical access, which was also complicated.

  • On the evening of October 4, there was one of the largest disruptions in the work of Facebook services.
  • The failure was caused by the disappeared DNS records from the global routing tables.
  • Social networks Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp messenger were unavailable for about 6 hours.

“Information from a credible source: The person involved in the Facebook recovery said the failure was caused by a standard BGP update that did not go according to plan. Due to the update, access to remote users was blocked, and people with physical access did not have network / logical access. “

The situation was aggravated slightly by the fact that company employees could not get to their workplaces in order to assess the scale of the problem, since the electronic pass system also failed. This was reported by the journalist of The New York Times Shira Frenkel on her  Twitter .

“I spoke on the phone with someone who works on Facebook, and I was told that this morning employees could not get into the office to begin assessing the extent of the outage, because their passes do not work and do not open doors.”

As a result, Facebook social networks did not work for about 6 hours, and the situation began to improve only around 01:00 Moscow time. At the moment, all services are working.

Among other things,  there was  news that a huge collection of personal data of Facebook users is being sold on special forums, which includes information about more than 1.5 billion people. Most likely, this is just a coincidence, since the failure was not associated with an attack, and the seller of the collection assures that all the data was collected using parsing (directly from the pages).

The failure of Facebook services caused not only a wave of discontent among millions of users, it also became the reason for the emergence of many jokes and memes. A significant part of them concerned the position of competitors and ridiculed the problems of FB, while praising Twitter and Telegram.

Against the background of all the problems of Facebook services, the fake account of Mark Zuckerberg wrote that Bitcoin has never been disconnected.

“Hello, it looks like we have a problem with Facebook. We will try to resolve them as quickly as possible. For those who don’t know, Bitcoin has never been disconnected. I suggest you use it. “

In fairness, it should be noted that in this particular case, decentralization would not have helped in any way, since the problem did not happen due to the fact that Facebook’s servers are centralized. In any case, decentralized social networks are more reliable because they do not have a single point of failure. Therefore, we recommend having a couple of accounts on decentralized social networks in case your favorite centralized services stop working.

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