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One single mistake caused the massive Facebook and WhatsApp outage yesterday

Facebook has issued an official statement that explains why the social network and WhatsApp went offline (Image: Alexander Shatov)
Facebook has issued an official statement that explains why the social network and WhatsApp went offline (Image: Alexander Shatov)
The several hours long outage of all online services of the Facebook group on Monday had a fairly simple reason, which apparently was quite difficult to correct. Facebook has now offered an explanation in an official blog post.

There was an outcry around the world when on Monday, October 4 of 2021, Facebook and all of its online services went offline for several hours. This also included the popular messaging service WhatsApp, which many people worldwide rely on for their everyday communication with their smartphones. For such users, the Facebook and WhatsApp outage was certainly an annoyance, but how could the servers of one of the largest tech companies in the world stay down for such a long time?

Facebook has now officially answered this question in a short and not very detailed blog post. According to the post, Facebook's backbone routers were the reason for the outage. A routine update of said routers caused a malfunction that lead to the servers being inaccessible, even though they were operating normally. The company also emphasizes that there was no hacker attack or any other malicious activity behind the outage.

But since the responsible developers at Facebook were also unable to access their servers remotely, the issue could not be solved immediately. Instead, a software engineer had to gain physical access to the data center in order to bring Facebook and WhatsApp back online. To make things worse, said software engineer was apparently an inexperienced employee who only executed instructions that were given to him over the phone. Nevertheless, this adventurous story had a happy ending since all services went back online after several hours.

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Enrico Frahn
Editor of the original article: Enrico Frahn - Tech Writer - 938 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
My fascination for technology goes back a long way to the Pentium II era. Modding, overclocking and treasuring computer hardware has since become an integral part of my life. As a student, I further developed a keen interest in mobile technologies that can make the stressful college life so much easier. After I fell in love with the creation of digital content while working in a marketing position, I now scour the web to bring you the most exciting topics in the world of tech. Outside the office, I’m particularly passionate about motorsports and mountain biking.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 10 > One single mistake caused the massive Facebook and WhatsApp outage yesterday
Enrico Frahn, 2021-10- 5 (Update: 2021-10- 5)