Facebook Went Offline For 6 Hours on October 4, 2021
Facebook Took A Six Hour Pause
Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all stopped working late Monday morning at 11:40ish (EDT) and the outage lasted through most of the workday. Facebook offered a brief notice on Twitter:
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Word spread quickly that there was a DNS issue. “DNS” (Domain Name Server) is the map/phone book that tells your computer the “IP address” that a website resides on. People interact through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (yahoo.com). DNS translates domain names to IP addresses like “188.8.131.52” so browsers can load the requested website.
There were fears of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack. The primary concern was that a prolonged, successful attack on a major online presence like Facebook or Instagram could make millions of smaller sites vulnerable to attack. Many websites and businesses use Facebook’s login to enter their own domains, leaving many employees, members, and clients unable to access websites for memberships, information, and purchases.
While much shorter than the near day-long outage on March 13, 2019, it affected more small and personalized businesses and social services. In the late afternoon, after the six-hour outage, Facebook posted that things were back to normal:
“Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”
Mark Zuckerberg also posted an apology on his own Facebook page, stating:
“Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.”