Facebook Outage: What Really Happened And Is The Whistleblower Connected To It?

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The Facebook outage seems to be a highly-discussed topic this week. Instagram and WhatsApp were also part of the outage, taking down the entire Facebook empire. The loss that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing is immense, losing billions of dollars over the six hours the outage lasted. Now that everything is up and running, the real truth behind the Facebook outage has surfaced.

 
Facebook Outage: What Really Happened?

Facebook Outage: What The Company Says

The Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram outage affected users by not allowing them to access the platforms. But apart from this, the outage also prevented the staff from accessing its internal networks. Facebook issued a statement saying there was a "faulty configuration change" that led to the massive outage.

"This outage was triggered by the system that manages our global backbone network capacity. The backbone is the network Facebook has built to connect all our computing facilities together, which consists of tens of thousands of miles of fiber-optic cables crossing the globe and linking all our data centers," Facebook explained in its updated blog post.

Facebook Outage: What Really Happened?

Facebook Outage: Faulty Network Systems To Blame

The issue appears to have been caused by a networking issue, in particular, an update that broke how the company is using something called the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Facebook explained.

Simply put, this network of computers hosts enormous amounts of data in specialized warehouses. However, when Facebook went down because of the 'faulty configuration change', where phones and other devices were unable to find the warehouses. The problem was at its worst because Facebook was using the same network for staff to access the network remotely.

Facebook Outage: What Really Happened?

This further prevented the Facebook staff from fixing the problem. Finally, the staff had to go down physically to the data centers and refresh things there. But there was a problem there too, which was shared on Reddit by an alleged Facebook staff member. Here, the access cards to physically enter the data center also required the internal systems to work properly - which meant they couldn't authenticate themselves.

 

Facebook Outage: Whistleblower To Blame?

The Facebook outage occurred just hours after a whistleblower's identity was revealed. Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower has even testified before US Congress after leaking thousands of documents to both the Wall Street Journal newspaper and law enforcement.

As soon as her identity came into the limelight, the Facebook outage happened. While the two incidents can't be linked, a lot of reports seem to be pointing otherwise. Haugen's statement that Facebook "over and over again" prioritizes its interests over what's good for the people seemed to be the key highlight here.

Facebook Outage: What Really Happened?

Facebook Outage: Will It Happen Again?

The latest Facebook outage that toppled even WhatsApp and Instagram is by far the longest one. There are even reports of a hack and data loss, which Facebook has snubbed. However, the dark web was offering to sell stolen user data from Facebook, despite any real breaches.

The larger question is - could it happen again? To note, this isn't the first time that Facebook has faced an outage, even if this is the longest one so far. At least after this, Facebook should bring out new processes to prevent such errors that even lock out its staff from refreshing the system. If not, we could be prone to more such outages.

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