Facebook is back online after a six-hour outage due to DNS routing problems. The outage took down Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, and Oculus VR as well. For some, those services are back online now; however, after a DNS issue like this, it could take hours for everything to work properly on every network.
The outage started just before noon ET on Monday. It was the most significant outage for Facebook since a 2019 incident took its site offline for more than 24 hours. Journalist Brian Krebs cites a trusted source who told him the incident didn’t have any malicious origins. Instead, they said it started with a routine BGP update that went wrong, wiping out the DNS routing information that Facebook needs so that other networks can find its sites.
However, the problem meant remote users could access the network to use it, and the people on site didn’t have the network access necessary to repair things. This mirrors an anonymous account of the issue posted earlier to Reddit (and quickly deleted), which cited pandemic protocols as a reason fewer people were on location than usual, slowing restoration efforts.
Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne says to The Verge in a statement, “To everyone who was affected by the outages on our platforms today: we’re sorry. We know billions of people and businesses around the world depend on our products and services to stay connected. We appreciate your patience as we come back online.”
Inside Facebook, the outage broke internal systems as well, leaving employees unable to get into offices and communicate easily with each other. Some told The Verge they were using work-provided Outlook email accounts, allowing Facebook workers to email each other but unable to send or receive emails from external addresses.
Facebook services coming back online now - may take some time to get to 100%. To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I'm sorry.— Mike Schroepfer (@schrep) October 4, 2021
Update October 4th, 6:40PM ET: Added statement from Facebook.