Update: 25 October 2022
WhatsApp Was Globally Down on 25 October 2022
According to various reports, WhatsApp was once again down for millions of users on October 25, 2022.
After a brief disruption, WhatsApp services are back online. For nearly two hours, millions of users in India and around the world couldn’t use the app. While the outage lasted, users could not make voice or video calls through WhatsApp and similar applications. Meta published a statement shortly after WhatsApp users began experiencing issues online, reassuring them that service would be restored shortly. Though, the root reason of the blackout is still unknown.
According to Down Detector, a real-time outage tracking site, there were over 154,100 outage reports on Facebook, 80,200 on Instagram, and 1,300 on WhatsApp. Since Facebook Inc. sites such as Instagram and WhatsApp experienced another global blackout on Thursday, Twitter was filled with memes and jokes.
According to Down Detector, a real-time outage tracking site, there were over 154,100 breakdown complaints on Facebook, 80,200 on Instagram, and 1,300 on WhatsApp. People flocked to Twitter to post memes and jokes about the outage, and the hashtags #InstagramDown and #FacebookDown quickly became trending topics.
Facebook global outage
This is the second time in a month that the Facebook sites have been down for more than an hour, with people reporting network problems worldwide.
“A configuration update caused Facebook services to be inaccessible to certain people,” Facebook Inc said in a statement in response to the outage. We researched the problem easily and found a solution.”
The reason behind the Facebook outage
Security experts recognised the issue as a BGP withdrawal of the IP address prefixes used to host Facebook’s Domain Name servers, thereby blocking users from resolving Facebook and associated domain names and accessing services. Globally, the effects were obvious; for example, Swiss Internet service provider Init7 saw a dramatic decrease in internet traffic to Facebook servers after the Border Gateway Protocol update.
According to Cloudflare, Facebook issued many BGP modifications at 15:39 UTC, including removing routes to IP prefixes, which included all of its authoritative nameservers. This rendered Facebook’s DNS servers inaccessible to the rest of the Internet. By 15:50 UTC, all major public resolvers’ caches for Facebook’s domains had expired. Facebook restarted BGP updates just before 21:00 UTC, with Facebook’s domain name being resolvable again at 21:05 UTC.
The fact that error warnings are displayed when individuals attempt to reach facebook.com and whatsapp.com corroborates the network configuration theory. As a result, the websites continued to exist but could not be accessed. DNS stands for Domain Name Server and is referred to be the “internet’s phone book.” It converts domain names we read into computer-readable encoded internet addresses (IP addresses).
When you type a domain name into your browser, such as “facebook.com” or “whatsapp.com,” the Domain Name Server is contacted and the associated encoded internet address, the IP, is requested.
After verifying everything is functioning correctly, the user is connected to the chosen domain. On the basis of information obtained from specialist sources close to Facebook, it seems very improbable that an external assault caused the outage.
Damage to the Facebook
Facebook’s technical team published a blog post outlining the outage’s cause on October 5. A command was performed during maintenance to examine the global backbone’s capacity, and the programme mistakenly disconnected all of Facebook’s data centres. While Facebook’s DNS servers were hosted on a separate network, they intended to withdraw their BGP routes if they could not connect to Facebook’s data centres, thus cutting off the rest of the internet from Facebook.
Facebook was eventually restored after a team gained access to and reset server systems at a data centre in Santa Clara, California. By about 22:45 UTC, Facebook and linked services were restored to their normal state.
The response given by Facebook
After many hours of unavailability, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer apologised, stating, “Teams are working as quickly as possible to troubleshoot and restore.” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the United States of America tweeted about the outage, urging people to post “evidence-based” tales on Twitter, mocking Facebook’s reputation for promoting dubious information.
Twitter, Reddit, and alt-tech sites Parler and Gettr all sent mocking messages about the outage on their official Twitter accounts. Both Twitter and Telegram users observed a decrease in response times, which is thought to be the result of individuals who were previously using Facebook services moving to those platforms.
Several media sites emphasised the similarity between Frances Haugen’s statement and the outage, even though the two events are unconnected.