Facebook apologized Monday night for a six-hour outage that impacted the company’s flagship social network, as well as ancillary services, attributing the downtime to a “flawed configuration change.”
Facebook and its related services, including Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus VR, went offline around 11:30 a.m. EST and remained inaccessible for about six hours. Subsequent reports suggested that a bad Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) update was the cause of the outage, and a new statement from Facebook apparently confirms the theory.
In a blog post, Facebook vice president of engineering and infrastructure Santosh Janardhan apologized for the “inconvenience” and explained that the router configuration changes caused an interruption between his data centers.
“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the main routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted that communication,” Janardhan said. “This disruption in network traffic has had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, causing our services to stop.”
The explanation is consistent with information provided by Cloudflare, which earlier today traced the problem to a BGP incident that impacted traffic routing. At the time, some speculated that a simple DNS configuration error was the cause of the downtime, although that explanation was dropped after some DNS services were found to be working but were not responding.
Janardhan also confirmed reports that Facebook’s internal tools were affected by the outage, complicating efforts to diagnose and resolve the issue. According to The New York Times, the security engineers were unable to physically access the affected servers because their digital badges became inoperative.
Apparently fearing rumors that its system had been hacked, Facebook reiterates in the blog post that the outage was caused by a “faulty configuration change” and notes that no user data has been compromised as a result of the time. stop.
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