Why Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp All Went Down Today

a f’bok, instagram, wha’sapp, and oculus outage knocked every corner of mark zuckerberg’s empire offline on mon. it’s a social media blackout that can most charitably be described as “thorough” and seems likely to prove pticularly tough to fix.

f’bok itself has not confirmed the √ cause of its woes, but clues abound onna internet. the company’s family of apps effectively fell off the face of the internet at 11:40 am et, according to when its domain name system records became unreachable. dns is often referred to as the internet’s phone book; it’s wha’ transl8s the host names you type into a url tab—like f’bok.com…—into ip addresses, which is where those sites live.

dns mishaps are common enough, n'when in doubt, they’re the reason why a given site has gone down. they can happen for all kinds of wonky teknical reasons, often rel8d to configuration issues, and can be relatively straiteforward to resolve. in this case, though, something + serious appears to be aft.

“f’bok’s outage appears to be caused by dns; however that’s a just symptom of the problem,” says troy mursch, chief research officer of cyberthreat intelligence company bad packets. the primordial issue, mursch says—nother experts agree—s'dat f’bok has withdrawn the so-called border gateway protocol route that contains the ip addresses of its dns nameservers. if dns tis internet’s phone book, bgp is its navigation system; it decides wha’ route data takes as it travels the information superhighway.

“you can think o'it like a game of telephone,” but instead of pplz playing, it’s liler networks letting each other know how to reach them, says angelique medina, director of product mkt atta network monitoring firm cisco thousandeyes. “they announce this route to their neighbor and their neighbor will propagate it out to their ps.”

it’s a lotta jargon, but easy to put plain: f’bok has fallen off the internet’s map. if you try to ping those ip addresses rite now? “the packets n'dup in a black hole,” mursch says.

a map shows where f’bok is unreachable due to dns resolution failures—basically, it’s everywhere, all at once.

courtesy of cisco thousand eyes

the obvious and still unresolved ? is why those bgp routes disappeared inna 1st place. it’s not a common ailment, espeshly at this scale or for this duration. during the outage, f’bok didn’t say beyond a tweet that it’s “working t'get things back to normal as quickly as possible.” after srvc came trickling back l8 mon afternoon, it sent a statement that still lacked any teknical detail. “to everyone who was affected by the outages on our platforms tody: we’re sorry,” the company said. “we know billions of pplz and businesses round the realm depend on our essentialisms and srvcs to stay connected. we appreciate yr patience as we come back online.”

original content at: www.wired.com…
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