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Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram Back Online After Nearly Six Hours of Worldwide Outage

Posted DateOctober 5, 2021
Posted Time 2   min Read

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are back online after nearly six hours of a major outage. These services altogether have more than 6 billion users worldwide.

Users who tried to access Facebook got the error “DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN”, WhatsApp wasn’t sending or receiving messages and Instagram showed “couldn’t refresh the feed”.

As per the outage report, the problem started around 9:30 PM (IST), it appears the DNS issue initially, and later it was learned that the problem was with BGP updates. 

BGP Updates and Outage

BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is used to exchange and route information with autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet.

If there is a problem with the BGP configuration, then nobody outside the network can bale to reach the network.

“The BGP routes pointing traffic to Facebook’s IP address space have been withdrawn. The Internet no longer knows where to find Facebook’s IPs. One symptom is that DNS requests are failing,” added Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D., Dean of Research at the SANS Technology Institute.

Facebook acknowledged that “we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms. Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change.”

The company also confirmed that no user information was compromised as a result of this downtime.

As a result of the downtime the trillion-dollar company stocks fell by 4.9 percent. This was their biggest drop since November 2020.

Netblocks cost of service disruption tools estimates around ~$160m in losses to the global economy due to this outage.

The service outage of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp affected billions of users and organizations who depend on Facebook.

Final Thoughts

Downtimes like these can affect your business continuity and thereby impact your reputation and your customer base. Always ensure that you have a business continuity plan in case of unforeseen emergencies. You can partner with our security experts like Indusface to avoid business disruption through site availability at all times and protect your brand reputation.

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