Well, here’s one way to start a week off on the wrong foot: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram were all down for several hours on Monday. Yes, completely down. From around 9 a.m., Downdetector started showing a surge in crash reports – although in hindsight, users were discussing unsent messages and broken apps even earlier.
By 4 p.m. PT, services were mostly back on track, although there were a few cobwebs left to shake off, leaving everyone scratching their heads and wondering how an outage of this magnitude. had occurred.
The outages affect the websites, applications and related services of all in the Facebook network. And it wasn’t a minor or regional issue – it was every department, in every place, completely dead.
Just in case you were wondering how unexpected this outage was, it took a while before all official communications went out, and when they did, they were quite rare. WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook the communications teams have all taken to Twitter (of course) to drop “it’s not just you” messages.
* Sincere * apologies to all who are currently affected by the outages in Facebook services. We are having network issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as quickly as possible
– Mike Schroepfer (@schrep) October 4, 2021
What caused Facebook to crash?
Numerous people have started to piece together the core of what happened to Facebook, and it’s simple to understand at first but extremely technical to fully grasp. The best explanation is that Facebook has a catastrophic problem with its DNS records.
DNS is essentially an address book for the Internet, a place where web browsers and apps can find out where to direct their traffic if they want to find Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram. Looks like a serious problem with Facebook’s servers – which host his own DNS records – removed these entries from the public Internet, making it impossible to find these sites.
In addition to the pain, there is the likelihood that all internal systems were also wiped out in the process, making recovery incredibly difficult.
Confirmed: DNS records that tell systems how to find https://t.co/qHzVq2Mr4E or https://t.co/JoIPxXI9GI were removed from global routing tables this morning. Can you imagine working at FB right now, when your email is down & all your internal FB based tools are failing?
– briankrebs (@briankrebs) October 4, 2021
Cloudflare has posted a detailed explanation of what went wrong on Facebook, along with a whole bunch of additional details on how this part of the internet generally works. It is worth reading if you really want to get cheesy and absorb more than you ever thought you would learn on the internet today.
At this time, there is no indication that this incredible blackout is the result of an actor or a malicious attack, although given the scale of the problem, it’s easy to let your mind wander and think. to how it could happen to billions of dollars. business. Of course, most people just spent the day on Twitter making fantastic jokes at the expense of Facebook.
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