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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp – failure and its causes. The expert explains

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When we enter facebook.com or instagram.com in the browser, we are loaded with appropriate information. In fact, there is a very complicated data exchange underneath. Yesterday, this data exchange in the background could not occur – this is how Piotr Konieczny from the portal Bezpiecznik.pl talked about the causes of the failure of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on TVN24.

Facebook Inc. reported in a blog post that after a six-hour failure of company-owned platforms such as Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram, there was a constant “misconfiguration”. As Cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs reported on Twitter, citing sources in Facebook, the failure was caused by an incorrect update of the BGP protocol, the system controlling internet traffic.

Facebook crash and BGP protocol

– The BGP protocol is also humorously called “a very dangerous protocol” in our industry. Why? Because a misconfiguration can be catastrophic. We watched it yesterday evening – explained Piotr Konieczny from the portalerationnik.pl on Tuesday on TVN24.

– BGP is a way of communicating between those nodes on the internet that tell you where to go to see Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram photos. Every company that has its servers, its databases, websites, but the really big ones, and Facebook is an example of such a company, must constantly announce to other institutions on the Internet where to find these servers – he explained.

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– We type facebook.com or instagram in the browser. com and we are loaded with the appropriate information. In fact, there is a very complicated data exchange underneath. Yesterday, this background data exchange could not occur. In other words, our devices that wanted to visit Facebook did not know where those servers were. They did not know because one of the Facebook engineers unfortunately introduced a change in his configuration and said: from today we do not tell the whole world where we are – he explained.

– Facebook disappeared from the Internet, but it was only the beginning of the tragedy. It turned out that this disappearance from the Internet had tragic consequences – Facebook’s fault, in fact, because he, as a company, uses its infrastructure. Instead of decentralizing, he keeps everything at his disposal in order to control it. When everything disappeared, Facebook employees were unable to communicate with each other on the company’s systems. Some employees who were sent to repair individual servers cut off from the internet were unable to enter the building because their cards did not work, he said. Hence the delay in removing the failure.

A few hours without Facebook and Instagram

Facebook crash It started on Monday around 17.40 Polish time, when Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp stopped being available online worldwide. Services started returning to functionality around midnight, though WhatsApp issues took longer than others.

“Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are back up. Sorry for the disruptions today. I know how much you rely on our services to stay in touch with the people you care about,” Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

The problem also affected Facebook’s internal networks and the company’s Workplace communication system.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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