Yesterday evening at about 11.00pm Malaysian time, the big 3 platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp had an outage that affected users worldwide. During the period, users can’t send WhatsApp messages and were also unable to view the latest social need on Facebook and Instagram until early this morning at around 8am.
During the outage, some had shared a screenshot of Facebook.com being put for sale which led to speculation that the social media giant had lost control of its domain name. Even Twitter founder Jack Dorsey jumped in and tweeted how much?
how much? https://t.co/fH0zXw7rV9— jack⚡️ (@jack) October 4, 2021
This leads to the question, did a trillion-dollar tech company forgot to renew its domain name? Or was it hijacked by third parties?
If you check the WHOIS record for Facebook.com, the domain won’t expire until 30th March 2030 which makes it valid for another 8 years. The last update recorded for the domain was on 22nd September and this rules out the possibility that the domain has expired and been put on sale.
As pointed out by ArsTechnica, this is likely a bug or poor coding on some online tools for domain name buyers. Even if the domain has expired, it will take weeks before it goes into an open auction, and that’s after several reminders and emails being sent out by the domain name registrar.
The Facebook outage is said to be caused by DNS failures which makes their servers unreachable for an extended period of time. Dane Knecht of Cloudflare said Facebook’s Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes have been withdrawn and Cloudflare has detected high failures. Apparently, the issue not only caused havoc online as it is also reported that Facebook employees were also unable to enter their offices as their badge access was also affected.
The social media giant has issued a statement about the outage. It said that a configuration change on their backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between their data centres caused issues that interrupted communications. The disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way its data centres communicate and it brought their services to a halt. The issue had also impacted many of its internal tools and systems which made it complicated for them to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem.
Facebook’s stocks have dropped by more than 5% as a result of the outage. According to Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg had lost USD 6 billion (about RM25 billion) in just a few hours. As a result, Zuckerberg had dropped to the #5 spot on the wealthiest people list, putting him below Bill Gates with a total worth of USD 121.6 billion (about RM508 billion).
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