Facebook down for over seven hours
Facebook, one of the mainstream social media platforms, went out of service today at 3:15 p.m. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Instagram and WhatsApp, two services that now belong to Facebook, went down at the same time. Seven hours later, all three have returned to service.
How Facebook went down
The details on Facebook going out of service are sketchy. What little original information CNAV has, comes from its own testing and from a source in the cybersecurity community. This source runs a firm offering site hosting and site hardening, and has a network of good-natured sometime rivals. Some of what they report about the Facebook situation, they could readily see. The rest, they have to guess.
At 11:20 a.m. EDT, your editor noticed trouble attending to the Notifications in the Facebook Android app. Two notices did resolve, having to do with a birthday greeting. But others simply would not load no matter how long your editor waited.
An hour or so later, your editor tried to access Facebook on two Internet browsers. They are Brave and Vivaldi, both “forks” of Chromium, the non-proprietary “fork” of Google Chrome. Neither one could access Facebook. Repeated attempts returned an error message stating that no Domain Name Service (DNS) records existed for the domain facebook.com.
So then your editor returned to a site calling itself (CNAV kids you not) Down For Everyone Or Just Me? That site returned this message after about fifteen seconds:
It’s not just you. Facebook is down.
What did the source say?
CNAV’s source came back with this report:
Facebook has been hacked, and hacked big time. Looks like the hackers hit them on multiple fronts:
- Application platform (FB apps, Instagram, WhatsApp)
- Web site (DNS records)
- Network routes (BGP, etc.)
A quick glossary follows. DNS stands for Domain Name Service. The Internet uses that service to resolve an alphameric address (like conservativenewsandviews.com) into an Internetworking Protocol address. BGP stands for Border Gateway Protocol. That instructs various industrial-strength routers on the fastest route to a given address.
And the source is telling us that someone erased the DNS and BGP records. They also compromised the Application Program Interfaces for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Zuck pissed someone off big time. This level of coordination has a financial backer(s) with some deep pockets. It is improbable that this was accomplished without an insider or three participating.
Pajamas Media confirmed the source’s findings. PJ Media also reported an issue with Google Mail. As it happens, CNAV does have a Gmail account. And your editor noticed the email client repeatedly reporting login failures and asking for a “new” password. Eventually those resolved. CNAV would not normally have suspected a system-wide problem. Not, that is, until other Gmail users reported the same or similar issues. Google Mail seems to have solved its problems.
Who might those people be?
Now, liberals pissed because not enough pressure was being put on conservatives? Conservatives pissed about the pressure? Anarchists that just want to watch something burn? My money is on the anarchists. They HATE literally EVERYTHING that is even remotely government(ish) and everyone knows that Zuck and company are buddy-buddy with the Deep State folks.
Also, the really good hackers are not on any government payroll because the really good ones don’t ever get caught. They also “make their bones” via bragging rights and taking down FB would put someone at the top of the heap for a very long time.
The source went on to tell CNAV to expect Facebook and its two subsidiaries to return to service within days. The source turned out to be too pessmistic. As of posting time, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp have all come back to service. CNAV estimates this happened between 10:15 and 10:45 p.m. UTC. That, CNAV gathers from suddenly noticing that Facebook was back in service and seeing no new Notifications at that time.
CNAV would advise whoever took down Facebook for seven hours – if any outsider orchestrated this attack – to lay low. Very low. Whoever this person is, just made the worst enemies he could possibly make in Western society today. Someone might be preparing a Milgram Obedience Shock Generating Apparatus. For real this time.
How bad was the problem while it lasted?
It was bad enough for Facebook itself, as a company. Employees couldn’t get into company buildings. The security system works through company IDs that depend on the network. With the network down, the locks would not work.
Staff also lost access to their Workplace tools, and had no fallbacks. Result: no one got any work done.
Facebook common stock lost more than five percent of its value as of 3:00 p.m. Wall Street time.
And certain domain registration companies showed the Facebook domain for sale. That is surely fraudulent. No one offers a domain for sale without offering contact information for prospective buyers. So the attack extended even to offering for sale a domain the attackers did not own.
Who benefits from Facebook going down?
On the periphery, anyone who competes with Facebook, benefits when Facebook is out of service. Facebook’s executives had to go to Twitter just to send out word that they knew about the problem.
CNAV’s source does not credit the notion that Facebook took itself down. True, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook executive, leaked several documents and revealed her identity to Sixty Minutes Sunday last night.
She charges that Facebook concerns itself more with money than with measures she wishes the company would take for “the public good.” Some of these measures address the safety of teen-aged users of Instagram and WhatsApp. Apparently, sexual predators use such services to spot and groom prospects. But Haugen was in charge of a department of “misinformation.” That would indicate she doesn’t like a free exchange of information.
Which suggests two things:
- Facebook might have thought about taking the site down in order to scrub it of incriminating information. But they couldn’t do that within seven hours. During which time Mark Zuckerburg personally lost seven billion dollars in stock valuation.
- Ms. Haugen might either know who did it or served as his inspiration.
What about a conservative?
If any conservative did this, CNAV condemns that in the strongest possible terms. Facebook provides a service to certain companies whose team leaders use it to communicate with team members. Whoever hacked the network, interfered with that and therefore harmed innocent people. That is not a conservative virtue. CNAV would treat any conservative who boasted of doing this as a loose cannon on the gundeck, to say the least.
To anticipate one obvious canard: Donald J. Trump would not soil his hands with such a venture. Even Julian Wikileaks Assange had no “dirt” on Trump. He candidly told someone he couldn’t find any. So he would not break custom by taking down Facebook, only to see it return to service shortly thereafter.
Instead, Trump would take Facebook to court. As he is taking Twitter to court.
The anarchist theory
That leaves the anarchist theory. This theory posits that the best hackers have no morals and no compunctions about what they do. They merely want the bragging rights. As such they are the Internet’s pyromaniacs.
Such people are without excuse, for they would attack anyone, just for the “lulz.” Only this time they have made the sort of enemy likely to take the law into his own hands. Not Mark Zuckerburg himself, but his Deep State friends and benefactor/beneficiaries. These people in turn think they are the law.
But CNAV can name two classes of enemy no one has yet considered. One is Vladimir Putin. Putin, like Trump, would almost sooner take Facebook to court or block it in his country. But might he decide that Facebook’s behavior toward him warrants direct action? No one can say – except that this would be a very Russian thing to do.
The other is the Deep State itself, an operation they ran without telling Zuckerburg. This could be a dry run for a general strike against all communications. Such a general blackout would be the almost necessary cover for a military coup by the current “woke” brass.
Which means everyone must look to the security of his or her information. And to laying in vital supplies – including ammunition.
About the image
“Facebook” by chriscorneschi is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0