The Facebook outage on 4th September 2021 (Monday) kicked every niche of Mark Zuckerberg’s social media realm offline. WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus, and Facebook witnessed networking issues at 11:40 AM ET.
Facebook has not yet deciphered the foundational cause of the Facebook outage discrepancy. The social media mogul’s empire of apps ceased to work on the internet at 11:40 AM ET. This mishap occurred when the company’s Domain Name System (DNS) records emerged unreachable. DNS translates to the internet’s phone book. It interprets the hostnames one types into a URL tab, like facebook.com, into IP addresses.
Facebook outage and the DNS & BGP calamity
DNS accidents occur at a fairly common rate. They can prevail for a plethora of technical causes, usually related to configuration problems, and can be resolved in a fairly straightforward manner. On Monday, however, a more serious problem seemed to have taken place.
Chief Research Officer of Bad Packets (cyber intelligence firm), Troy Mursch, stated that the Facebook outage seems to have occurred owing to DNS. However, he indicated that the DNS mishap was just a niche in a bigger loophole. The preliminary problem that caused the Facebook outage, experts say, is that the firm has inhibited the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) route that possesses the IP addresses of the respective DNS servers. The BGP is the internet’s navigation system that closely works with the internet’s phone book. The BGS facilitates an established route for data to traverse within the information freeway.
The more apparent and unsettled question is why the BGP routes vanished. The BGP route disappearance is not a commonly prevalent problem at operations that are as huge as Facebook. During the Facebook outage, the social media goliath tweeted that it was working towards retrieving things to their original state.
Post recovery of the service on late Monday afternoon, the tech-mogul sent a statement that did not point at any technical details. The company apologized to the masses who were affected by the downtime on all their social media platforms.
Experts on internet infrastructure spoke to WIRED and blamed misconfiguration by the firm to be the reason for the outage. CTO of Cloudflare, John Graham-Cumming, stated that Facebook must have misconfigured their routers, through which an outage from the rest of the internet occurred. However, Cumming stressed the fact that he was unaware of the details of what exactly must have happened. He indicated that the internet was a network of networks and that each network advertised its presence on to another. Off late, the social media pioneer has ceased advertisement operations.
This also implies that Facebook’s external services are not the only factions that have been affected. For example, one cannot utilize ‘Login with Facebook’ to log in to third-party websites. The company’s employees couldn’t resolve the issue as the firm’s internal networks could not connect to the outside internet, on Monday.
Everybody on the internet felt the absence of Facebook on Monday owing to the Facebook outage from the face of the internet. Service providers like Cloudflare have witnessed twice the amount of usual traffic on Monday, as users around the world kept trying to load their WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook accounts.
Facebook shares slipped and fell approximately 5% on Monday after an interview with Frances Haugen on ’60 Minutes’, who identified herself to be a whistleblower and provided significant internal documents to the Wall Street Journal. The documents accused the tech mogul of prioritizing the welfare of the company over the privacy of its users. This coupled with the severe service outage facilitated a bearish trend of the firm’s share value.
The market was majorly declining on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite slipping over 2%. The bearish trend was also evidently prominent amongst social media stocks like Pinterest, Snap, and Twitter which fell over 5%.