Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS
September 21, 2021
Importance of Server Security
November 23, 2021

We've all heard about and most of us experience the Facebook Fiasco that caused Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp to go completely out of service last week. But there are still many questions unanswered, about what caused the outage, what effects the service disruption had for the at least 3.5 billion people who use Facebook’s apps around the world, and what the consequences of the outage will be as Facebook faces increasing public pressure over its impact on everything from US teens’ body image to the survival of democracies around the world! So what the heck happened? There has been a great deal of commentary about it. Here's as summarized as we could get it.

The outage also hit small businesses around the world that rely on WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook, meaning that stores, restaurants and delivery services lost money on Monday, the New York Times reported. The disruption of WhatsApp was particularly challenging for millions of people around the world who rely on the platform as their primary communication method with friends and family. “It’s like the equivalent of your phone and the phones of all of your loved ones being turned off without warning. The app essentially functions as an unregulated utility,” the journalist Aura Bogado wrote.

Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the outage on Facebook once the website was back online, but did not provide an explanation. “I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,” the CEO said.

So What Caused This Facebook Fiasco?

Experts initially said the problem appeared to have been related to the company’s internal infrastructure. Facebook engineers responded to a company data center in California to fix the outage, which also disrupted internal systems employees use for work, the Verge reported. There was no evidence that the issue was caused by malicious activity, the Associated Press reported, and experts have said the outage, which saw Facebook and its services essentially “disconnected from the internet”, could have only originated from within the company.

According to reports, part of the problem was with the DNS, or domain name system, which turns website names such as into numeric addresses that can be understood by machines. These allow the users’ computer to connect to the destination web server and the website users are looking for.

“It is rumored to be a border gateway protocol problem. This is something worth noting. It might be really hard to get into a router and change the route tables from outside the organization, but inside, it’s a piece of cake,” Renee Murphy, a principal analyst at Forrester, said in an email. “If it really is a BGP problem, that is a big problem. This is not something that should ever happen at a company this sophisticated with this much data.”

Is your head spinning yet? Before you step off that ledge, we'll wrap this issue up. Here’s some of the remaining questions:

  • Who’s responsible? Outside security experts said they believed the server problem that caused a six-hour global outage of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp could have only originated from within the company. But Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have offered no public explanation for what exactly went wrong, just a blanket apology for the disruption.
  • Who was hurt? The outage affected potentially tens of millions of users worldwide. Owners of small businesses were also disrupted everywhere on the planet - literally.
  • Why did this happen?  Coincidentally, (or not), this outage came the same day Facebook asked a federal judge that that a revised antitrust complaint against it by the Federal Trade Commission be dismissed because it faces vigorous competition from other services,” the Associated Press reported. We don't know for sure if this had anything to do with the outage, but it needed to be mentioned.
  • Will the outage have a lasting effect on Facebook’s stock price and/or Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth? Bloomberg reported last week that the nearly 5% drop in Facebook stock on Monday resulted in a more than $6 billion drop in Zuckerberg’s net worth, sliding him down one rung of Bloomberg’s billionaires list. (Boo hoo!) :)
  • How will lawmakers in the US and other countries respond?  Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in front of a key Senate subcommittee last Tuesday, sounding the alarm about everything from Instagram’s effect on teen girls to the national security threats posed by Facebook.  She said the company needs to declare “moral bankruptcy.” This may certainly affect how lawmakers and countries approach social media platforms in the future.

We hope this summary of Facebook fiasco has helped you to appreciate the gravity of our online world. Approach Network Solutions can network your systems and devices to work together perfectly AND make sure they have the security they need. We offer protection against malware, ransomware and other cyber attacks.  We serve the Charlottesville, Virginia and surrounding areas and also offer virus/spyware removal, disaster recovery, computer/laptop repairs, system maintenance, wireless network installation and so much more. Contact Approach Network Solutions today at 434 509 4757.

Contact Approach Network Solutions today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *