How a massive disruption shut down WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook

On October 4, 2021, there was a failure in the work of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook services, which led to their complete shutdown. Starting at about 6:30 p.m. Moscow time, users were unable to update news feeds in mobile applications and on Facebook and Instagram sites, or to send messages and make calls via WhatsApp.

Roskomnadzor also recorded a large-scale failure in Facebook and its own WhatsApp and Instagram, the agency's press service told RG.

"According to the Center for Monitoring and Control of Public Communications Network, Facebook services are recorded failures on the territory of many countries. The inaccessibility of resources is confirmed by the company itself," the agency said.

There is still little information as to why this happened. Many experts agree that an error in the configuration of DNS-servers is to blame, because of which browsers and mobile applications can not open the website or download content from the desired server.

"There is some sort of glitch in the servers, including the DNS servers that are responsible for converting from the name to the IP address that the apps connect to. It is as if they have lost their entries in the address book: you can only get through if you remember which number to call", says Pavel Kulakov, founder and General Director of Oxygen network of data centers, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

Most likely, it was an oversight - probably the company was trying to make some technical updates, but there was an error. Internal sabotage is not ruled out, but an outside attack is unlikely, experts say.

What happened next? In search of information about the incident (or for other reasons) users went to other services, which experienced a significant increase in the load on their servers and also began to work with interruptions.

As a result, visitors to Google, Twitter, TikTok, VKontakte, Telegram and many other sites experienced slowdowns or even temporary "unresponsiveness" of their servers. Most of them were able to quickly - within an hour or two - to restore full functionality.

In addition, the failure also affected the services that use Facebook's own mechanisms. For example, in the game Pokemon Go, it is possible to enter the account, using the login and password from the social network, but the users were not able to do it, because the authorization system of Facebook was disconnected.


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