The popular social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, are back online following a massive disruption that lasted almost six hours. Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access the platforms because of a BGP routing issue.
Yesterday evening, all the platforms owned by Facebook crashed, with browsers showing DNS errors when users were trying to open them.
As showed by BleepingComputer, when trying to connect directly to the Facebook DNS servers shown below, they were also inaccessible.
Disruption Caused by a BGP Routing Problem
While the problem initially seemed to be DNS-related, it was eventually discovered that the situation was much worse than that.
Giorgio Bonfiglio, a Principal TAM at Amazon AWS, explained that several Facebook routing prefixes had mysteriously vanished from the Internet’s BGP routing tables, effectively rendering any services hosted on their IP addresses inaccessible.
A bunch of Facebook networks has just disappeared from the internet: pic.twitter.com/j07LrmAAdW
— Giorgio Bonfiglio (@g_bonfiglio) October 4, 2021
According to Wikipedia,
Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is a standardized exterior gateway protocol designed to exchange routing and reachability information among autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet. BGP is classified as a path-vector routing protocol, and it makes routing