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Facebook Attributes Outage to Internal Errors, Not Malicious Actors

2015-01-27 22:00

Facebook has moved to deny that a service outage affecting worldwide access for its users was the work of third-party hackers, instead attributing the fault to an internal issue.

The social network, along with the Facebook-owned Instagram service, was inaccessible to users around the world from around 6am GMT on Tuesday 27th January. Other services which use Facebook as part of their log-in process, such as dating app Tinder, were also affected. The problem was resolved after roughly an hour.

A spokesperson for the social network told Reuters that “This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems.”

A tweet from notorious hacking collective Lizard Squad stoked speculation that the group had orchestrated a denial-of-service attack against Facebook.

“Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, AIM, Hipchat #offline #LizardSquad,” the group wrote on Twitter.

While this does not exactly amount to a claim of responsibility, Lizard Squad’s recent implications in hacks on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and now Malaysia Airlines mean that an attempted attack on Facebook would come as no surprise.

Security experts, however, have cast doubt over Lizard Squad’s capabilities for carrying out denial of service attacks against organizations of Facebook’s size.

Amichai Shulman, chief technology officer at Imperva, argued that “A volumetric attack the magnitude that takes down Facebook would take down most of the internet.”

He added that “overlooked software glitches” are often all that it takes for large networks to go down. “These are usually related to a register or counter kept in smaller memory storage than required. Because of the wide spread of this I’d guess it has to do with some register that keeps time that overflowed.”

Eset security specialist Mark James, meanwhile, suggested that given the massive amount of traffic Facebook is used to dealing with – around 864 million daily users – a DDoS attack would be unlikely to succeed.

He added that, “It’s interesting to see Lizard Squad taking the glory for this – association is a powerful tool and being talked about at the same time as [Facebook and Instagram] going down will achieve the same thing to a small degree.”

Source: /srorre-egatuo-koobecaf/swen/moc.enizagam-ytirucesofni.www

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