On the evening of Monday, October 4, users began to massively report total outages in Facebook-owned services – Facebook and Instagram social networks, WhatsApp messenger, and even the Oculus VR services. The widespread panic was due to the fact that alternative platforms also began to experience disruptions due to congestion caused by an unexpected influx of visitors.
DNS failures caused the “digital apocalypse”. In particular, even before the restoration of the services, there was evidence that records in relation to Facebook services were suddenly avsent from global routing tables. In fact, Facebook and everything related to it was “removed from the Internet.” Just prior to the fall of the entire Facebook network, there was activity similar to a failed attempt to centrally update routers, according to Cloudflare. As a result, the connection between the Facebook servers was absent and there was a suspension of service in the DNS system.
According to The New York Times journalist Ryan Mac, the problem was bigger due to the fact that not only ordinary users have no access to services. For a long time, employees of the company could not use service tools, including the internal Workplace platform and other means of intra-corporate communication. In addition, employees had to be sent directly to data centers to correct the situation manually, but even there they faced problems – the publication reported that in addition to web service servers and internal tools, the electronic security system also failed, limiting the use of electronic passes.
As users began to switch to using alternative platforms, the load on them grew so much that Telegram, VKontakte, Twitter; and services like Netflix, YouTube and even Tinder had problems with their work. Of course, they all just greeted the increased traffic, but they were somewhat unprepared for it.
Six hours without Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp: how it was
Of course, the current situation could not but affect the financial performance of Facebook. The head of the company lost more than $ 6 billion, the shares of Facebook itself fell significantly; and against the background of the general panic; the shares of other companies that were not directly in connection with the Facebook group began to fall. Almost the entire IT sector was having problems.
Only almost 6 hours after the “fall”, Zuckerberg’s company was able to partially restore the serviceability. However, users continue to observe some problems locally after that; some users complained about the inability to put likes, slow systems; and other minor troubles associated with the work of Facebook services. Although the company itself announced a complete restoration of working capacity.
Facebook told that the failure was because of an erroneous change in the configuration of the routers. At the same time, the company denies a hacker attack or an attempt to get to user data. Mark Zuckerberg himself has publicly apologized for the incident. “ I’m sorry for today’s disruption; I know how much you rely on our services to keep in touch with the people you care about;” he said on his post.
We also add that this situation has shown the vulnerability of the modern Internet; to such global failures of such huge services. As soon as people lost access to their usual services, they began to look for alternatives. And everything would be fine if these alternatives were ready for a sharp influx of new users. But this is not the case, and therefore a failure in Facebook could lead to “crashes” of many other services. Fortunately, this did not happen.