User error causes six-hour outage on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp


After a six-hour outage on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, ending millions of digital lives, criticism of the company has escalated.

Security analysts say this is unlikely to be the result of a cyber attack. The fall of Facebook has sparked a new wave of talk about deleting accounts and the fragility of the Internet architecture.

“Facebook’s global outage is far from the first occurrence of a major DNS failure, but perhaps the most significant for society given the reliance on these applications,” said Dietrich Ayala, head of IPFS ecosystems. .

“Over the past 30 years, the web infrastructure has repeatedly failed in its own philosophy – the root cause not being the Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP / IP). TCP is an architecture communication device used for networking computers and communicating over the Internet. “

He says this protocol is very resilient, reliable, and ensures that data is not damaged, lost, duplicated, or delivered out of order.

Ongoing internet shutdowns are a key indicator of censorship failure within the middle segment of the web, the HTTP Domain Name System (DNS).

Under typical government orders, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in a specific jurisdiction may be mandated to restrict and block website connectivity. This measure is completed when ISPs undertake URL-based blocking and block DNS servers, restricting access to all public IP addresses. Social platforms that allow immediate communication and freedom of expression, such as Twitter and WhatsApp, can also be blocked and closed through these censorship settings. While the initial vision was a decentralized open access network, the DNS architecture ensures that the network is centralized and linked to ISPs.

“Notable figureheads like Tim Berners-Lee are raising awareness about the problem but have not provided a clear solution to address the issue,” Ayala said.

“While a level of outcry is needed, tremendous action is needed from industry leaders. Most mainstream browsers today, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox, depend entirely on DNS for web applications are running, offering no protection against this method of Internet blocking. access. “

Axelar CEO and Co-Founder Sergey Gorbunov said: “Yesterday we saw Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp go extinct. Users were unable to access services due to a simple network configuration error. disconnect from the rest of the world? ”

Gorbunov says the answer lies in the lesser-known protocol known as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).

BGP isn’t as well-known as protocol suites like TCP / IP, but it powers routing across the Internet. Basically, BGP helps stand-alone networks operated by ISPs and organizations to route and route traffic from one network to another. Just as air traffic controllers direct planes along specific routes, BGP directs Internet traffic.

It allows users from different geographic regions to login and access any application in the world. When a Facebook engineer pushed an incorrect update into their internal BGP configuration, it disconnected the Facebook network from the rest of the world and users could not access any of the desired applications.

“The need for a decentralized web has never been greater,” says Alexander Filatov, CEO and co-founder of TON Labs.

“From an operational point of view, decentralization protects against such failures because it does not rely on central points of failure and does not require any additional infrastructure or servers. Yet more importantly, it delivers a faster and more secure experience, so once a critical mass of users migrates, the obvious and inherent benefits of decentralization will ensure user retention and long-term sustainability.

“We’re getting closer and closer to that point,” he says.

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