Facebook is gone. That’s the verdict from tech experts tonight who are explaining what they think has happened to the huge social media network and its associated apps, Instagram and WhatsApp.
How can that happen? How does Facebook just go offline?
According to information sweeping Twitter, web hosting service Cloudflare’s president Dane Knecht has explained what’s caused the huge Facebook outage.
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Cloudflare senior vice president Dane Knecht said Facebook’s border gateway protocol routes have been “withdrawn from the internet.”
Experts say the code which tells servers where Facebook is – kind of like a postal address for computers – has been removed.
Therefore though Facebook’s app and website and all its data still exists, the servers that take users’ internet browsers and connect it to Facebook’s servers doesn’t know where Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp are any more, or how to find their data.
However, the incident appears to be a mistake rather than an attack, these same experts say.
Matthew Prince said: “Nothing we’re seeing related to the Facebook services outage suggests it was an attack. Most likely explanation is that the company’s Internet routes (BGP) were withdrawn by mistake during maintenance.”
Dane Knecht added: “After Facebook gets network back up I expect a long period of instability. Rebooting a distributed system of this size is hard. They will have cold caches and systems that need other systems to bootstrap.
“They will almost certainly try to start back up slowly. This is going to look like a huge ddos attack with every Facebook client, SDK, etc all trying to retry at once”
This of course, could prove not to be the case. But it seems that these tech gurus know what they are talking about.
If so, it could take a lot longer than usual for Facebook to come back online.
Cyber security specialist Jake Moore said there is a “chance” the issue could be related to a cyber attack.
He said: “There have been many reports and I’m struggling to find out exactly what has happened- I’m reading it could be DNS related, which means there is an issue with the connection not knowing where to go to your device.
“It could well be a human error or a software bug lurking in the shadows but whatever it is Facebook needs to do its best to mitigate the problem of causing more panic about this.
“The biggest problem is fears over a cyber attack but as we saw from Fastly in the summer I would hedge my bets on that not being the case as we’re talking about one of the biggest companies in the world, but there’s always a chance.”
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