Digital apocalypse: how and why Facebook went offline

Digital apocalypse: how and why Facebook went offline
October 4 went down in history as Facebook’s unlucky day: in the morning an interview with an informant leaked the secrets of the social network to the press appeared on the network, and in the evening all the company’s services stopped working, as a result of which Mark Zuckerberg lost billions. How the “Digital Apocalypse” happened and what caused the shutdown of everything connected (and not connected) with Facebook – in the material of “Gazeta.Ru”.

We dropped it all

On the evening of October 4, at about 18.40 Moscow time, there was a large-scale failure of Facebook and services belonging to the company. For nearly seven hours, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and other Zuckerberg projects were unavailable in many parts of the world.

“According to the Center for Monitoring and Control of the Public Communication Network, failures in the work of Facebook services are recorded in many countries. The inaccessibility of resources is confirmed by the company itself, ”commented Roskomnadzor on the situation .

Against the backdrop of the fall of Facebook services, the Privacy Affairs portal discovered that on one of the most popular hacking forums, the data of more than 1.5 billion Facebook users are being sold. These are names, emails, phone numbers, locations, genders and id. The portal calls this the largest leak in the history of the company.

Despite this, Facebook said that the failure of the company’s services did not lead to the disclosure of user data: “We have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of the outage period.”

NYT reporter Shira Frenkel said that Facebook employees could not get into the data center to fix the problem – their passes did not work. In addition, the publication noted that the systems of Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook are too different from each other, which is why the failure is unlikely to be the result of a cyber attack.

“Configuration changes in the backbone routers, which are responsible for coordinating network traffic between our datacenters, resulted in issues that interrupted communications. This disruption in network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers were connected, causing our services to stop working, ”Facebook later explained.

According to unofficial information, someone from Facebook has erased part of the code responsible for Internet addresses and DNS.

“Sorry for the breakdown today – I know how much you rely on our services to stay in touch with the people you care about,” Zuckerberg wrote.

It is noteworthy that the morning before the fall of Facebook appeared an interview with an anonymous informant who revealed his identity. The girl has been revealing Facebook secrets to The Wall Street Journal for almost a month .


Status of Mark Zuckerberg on the background of failure and leakage at the time of writing the material was reduced by $ 5.9 billion (about 430 billion rubles.). In addition, according to the NASDAQ stock exchange, shares of Twitter suffered along with Facebook with a fall in capitalization of 6.7%, Alphabet (2.7%), Amazon (2.8%), Apple (2.6%) and Microsoft ( 2.4%).

During the outage, people using Facebook services began to move to other social networks and instant messengers.

“Telegram has become the main means of communication on Facebook today! Techies install Telegram in order to coordinate their actions around the world, they need a connection that is not in their usual channels. Cellular communication is not always convenient. It’s very funny, isn’t it? ” – wrote the leading analyst of Mobile Research Group Eldar Murtazin in the Telegram-channel “” .

According to TGStat, Telegram’s audience has grown by 50 million users in just a few hours. Due to the large influx in the work of Pavel Durov’s messenger, there were also interruptions – Telegram began to work noticeably slower, but at the same time remained available.

In addition, there were reports in the media about interruptions in the work of VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, but the press services of social networks denied this information.

Many other social networks, operators and services like Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Gmail and even Tinder have experienced interruptions in the work of some users.

Mary Brinsfield

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