THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook this week suffered the biggest outage in its 15-year history, rendering apps including Instagram and WhatsApp inaccessible for more than 14 hours.
The millennial-irking borkage began at around 4 pm UK time on Wednesday and Down Detector's outage map suggests that users all across the globe were affected.
The issue, which Facebook was forced to acknowledge on Twitter (below), affected the main Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.— Facebook (@facebook) March 13, 2019
In a follow-up tweet, the company addressed rumours that the outages were the result of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, stating: "We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack."
Still, while Facebook's apps seemed to be recovering on Thursday morning, with Instagram confirming it was back up and running and eagerly awaiting users' pictures of sandwiches, the firm has yet to state what caused the issues.
According to network management outfit Netscout, however, the mega-outage was caused by a Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) leak from a European internet service provider to a major transit ISP.
"While not malicious in nature, such events can prove disruptive on a widespread basis. It is very important that all network operators implement BGP peering best current practices," quipped Roland Dobbins, Netscout Principal Engineer
Not everyone agrees, though. In an emailed statement given to INQ, network monitoring company ThousandEyes says that it hasn't sighted any BGP changes affecting connectivity, and says the cause "appears to be internal rather than a network or internet delivery issue."
"For example, we saw '500 internal server errors' from Facebook. Given the sheer scale and continuous changes that these web scale providers are constantly making to their applications and infrastructure, sometimes things break as a result of these changes, even in the most capable hands," a ThousandEyes spokesperson said.
"When investigating Facebook's issues today, we're not seeing any BGP changes that are affecting connectivity, packet loss or latency. Since Facebook uses its own backbone network, it's not clear / we don't have insight as to how an external transit route issue would cause a disruption within the internal Facebook network."
We've contacted Facebook for more information and will update this article if, and when we hear more. µ
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