Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms were apparently down worldwide on Monday
The company did not specify what might have caused the outage, which began around 11:40 ET. Websites and apps often suffer damages of varying size and duration, but global disruptions lasting hours are rare.
“It’s epic,” said Doug Madory, Kentick Inc.’s director of internet analysis. The last major Internet outage, which knocked many of the world’s top websites offline in June, lasted less than an hour. In that case the stricken content delivery company, Fastly, blamed it on a software but triggered by a customer who changed a setting.
Facebook’s only public comment so far was a tweet in which it acknowledged that “some people are having trouble accessing the (Facebook) app” and that it was working on restoring access. Regarding the internal failures, Instagram head Adam Mosseri tweeted that it feels like a “snow day”.
Rachel Toback, a hacker and CEO of SocialProof Security, said that so many people rely on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram as their primary means of communication that losing access for so long could leave them exploited by criminals.
“They don’t know how to approach the people in their lives without it,” she said. “They are more sensitive to social engineering because they are so desperate to communicate.” Toback said that during past outages, some people have received emails promising to restore their social media accounts by clicking on a malicious link that may have exposed their personal data.
The reason for the outage is unclear. Mallory said Facebook appears to have withdrawn the “official DNS routes” that let the rest of the Internet communicate with its properties.
Such routes are part of the Internet’s domain name system, a key structure that determines where Internet traffic is to go. DNS converts an address like “facebook.com” to an IP address like 188.8.131.520. If Facebook’s DNS records go missing, apps and web addresses won’t be able to locate it.
Jake Williams, chief technical officer at cybersecurity firm BreachQuest, said that although the glitch cannot be ruled out completely, chances were good that the outage was “an operational issue” due to human error.
Madori said there was no indication that anyone other than Facebook was responsible and discounted the possibility that another major Internet player, such as a telecommunications company, inadvertently rerouted major routing tables affecting Facebook. Can write with “Nobody else announced these routes,” Madori said.
Facebook is going through a different major crisis after whistleblower Frances Hogen, a former Facebook product manager, provided The Wall Street Journal with internal documents that raised awareness of the damage caused by the company’s products and decisions. exposes. Haugen went public on “60 Minutes” on Sunday and is scheduled to testify before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.
Haugen filed a complaint anonymously with federal law enforcement alleging that Facebook’s own research shows how it fuels hate and misinformation, leading to increased polarization and that Instagram, in particular, It can harm the mental health of teenage girls.
The journal’s stories, called “The Facebook Files”, painted a picture of the company focusing its own interests on growth and the public good. Facebook has tried to curate the research. The company’s vice president of policy and public affairs, Nick Clegg, wrote in a memo to Facebook employees Friday that “social media has had a huge impact on society in recent years, and Facebook is often the place where much of this debate takes place.” Is. “
AP technology writer Matt O’Brien told the Providence, RI. contributed to this report from