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Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram Crash, Down For Hours

Social media services Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have been hit by an outage lasting several hours as the Company’s share price also falls following claims by a whistle blower.

Observers claim that it’s rare for Facebook’s apps to go down for an extended period of time, and even less common for the company’s internal systems to go offline. At 8.00AM Australian Eastern time all of their services were down.

Such an outage has happened before, though, most notably in 2019 when Facebook’s internal apps stopped working following a dispute with Apple, which halted some of the apps’ functionality on the iPhone maker’s platform.

Previous issues with DNS led to widespread outages of several major sites earlier this year the issue also affected sites in Australia including airlines, media Companies and banks.

In one of those instances, it emerged that the blackout was caused by a single customer of a widely used service who changed their settings, triggering a software bug affecting a huge number of websites.

Downdetector, which tracks outages, logged nearly 80,000 reports for WhatsApp and more than 50,000 for Facebook.

Data from the website suggests the outage is affecting user accounts across the world including Australia.

epa07568740 epa07306542 (FILE) – A smart phone screen shows the logo of WhatsApp application in Berlin, Germany, 31 December 2017 (reissued 14 May 2019). Facebook’s messenger service WhatsApp has been the target of hackers, with remotely installed surveillance software developed Israeli security firm NSO Group, according to media reports. EPA/HAYOUNG JEON

Some people also reported problems using Facebook’s virtual reality headset platform, Oculus.

Facebook said: “We are aware some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience.”

Apparently internal services used by Facebook employees, including the company’s Workplace tool for communicating among teams, is also down for some employees, according to a company spokesperson.

There is even concern that the Company has become a victim of a hack attack

The cause of the issue is “probably a bad configuration or code push to the network management system,” said Alex Stamos, former chief security officer at Facebook who is now director of Stanford University’s Internet Observatory. “This isn’t supposed to happen.”

The company’s shares dropped 5.6% to $323.89 at 1:35 p.m. They had already been on the decline Monday after a Facebook whistle-blower appeared on news program “60 Minutes” to discuss the company’s internal research about its impact on society.
(See separate story).

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