Facebook downtime was due to server fault, not DDoS attack

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Image: Tom Solari/TECHGEEK.com.au

Image: Tom Solari/TECHGEEK.com.au

Unless you were living under a rock or had something better to do than check Facebook every single minute, you would have realised that both Facebook and Instagram was down for many people. However, despite claims that it was due to a DDoS attack, Facebook has said that the outage was because of a server fault.

“This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems,” Facebook said in a statement to the ABC.

“Both services are back to 100 per cent for everyone.”

Other services that also suffered an outage were Tinder and HipChat – both are now accessible at the time of writing. While Tinder hasn’t confirmed what caused the outage, HipChat has suggested that it was a database error.

Facebook’s explanation is different to what Lizard Squad, known for their high-profile DDoS attacks on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, recently posted on Twitter. A post suggested that they did a DDoS attack to take Facebook down.

Another news organisation has casted doubt on Facebook’s explanation, citing a screenshot of IP Viking as evidence. IP Viking is a website maintained by security company Norse and displays cyberattacks in real-time.

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However, that does not necessarily proof that Facebook was taken down by a DDoS attack by attackers. IP Viking only tracks cyberattacks on Norse’s honeypot servers only – which emulate vulnerable servers to gather intelligence on attackers, such as IP addresses. While Facebook might have data centres in particular city, so do many other companies – like Norse.

So, unless something drastic happens – like a massive data dump of personal information – to prove otherwise, then the outage was just a system change gone wrong.

Edit: We originally published content from a blog post from Facebook Engineering. However, the blog post was from 2010. This was cited by The Verge. We apologise for the error.

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