Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp crashed after 'bungled server update' as staff manually reset system to fix 7-hour outage

FACEBOOK, Instagram and WhatsApp crashed after a "bungled server update" and staff had to manually reset the system to get the sites back online, an expert has claimed.

Millions of users were left in the dark when the social media apps went down for seven hours – Facebook's worst global outage since 2008.


While the social media firm has not given an official reason for the outage, one expert claimed "an internal staff error" took the site off the internet.

Insiders have also claimed Facebook's internal systems were shut down, leaving staff unable to access the firm's California head office due to frozen key cards during the seven-hour chaos.

The company's staff quickly flooded data centres to reset the system themselves, MailOnline reports.

But other users claimed Facebook was hacked as it was alleged the personal data of 1.5 billion users’ appeared on a hackers’ forum. 

This has the potential to let cybercriminals and unscrupulous advertisers to plunder the personal details of people from across the globe.

According to the data privacy website PrivacyAffairs, a user of a known hacker forum posted an announcement claiming to possess the personal data of more than 1.5 billion Facebook users.

The information was up for sale.

One prospective buyer claims to have been quoted £3,700 for the data of a million Facebook user accounts.

The data allegedly includes users’ name, email, location, gender, phone number and user ID. 

The allegations have emerged coincidently with the outage of Facebook and platforms it owns, Instagram and WhatsApp, although there is nothing at this stage to suggest the two are linked.

Problems with the services, which are all owned by Facebook, began around 4.45pm BST (11.45am ET), according to online outage trackers, while, the Twitter situation emerged a few hours later.

At around 11.15pm BST Facebook and Instagram were back up and running for many users.

Facebook said in a statement on Twitter: "To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we're sorry.

"We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us."

BUG OR ERROR

There were also reports of WhatsApp returning for some.

A total of 43 per cent of users experienced issues with WhatsApp – with 27 per cent saying they were unable to send messages.

It's still unclear what caused the outages.

Hundreds of thousands of people reported issues with the social networking apps on the website DownDetector.

🔵 Read our Facebook down live blog for the latest updates

Google, Amazon, Spectrum, Verizon, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, Apple, Telegram, and Cricket Wireless were also reporting outages. It's not immediately clear if all of these tech issues are connected.

Tinder was also reported to be experiencing issues as of 3.37pm ET, Downdetector reported, leaving singletons in the lurch, while Twitter users were also apparently affected from around 3.29pm ET.

Many people are or were unable to access the smartphone apps and websites of the hugely popular services. Gmail outages were also reported within the past hour but the company didn't detect any.

Gmail said "there are no disruptions with Gmail" in response to reports of an outage on Twitter shortly after 4pm ET.

APP FLAP

Those attempting to open the sites on a desktop were reportingly being met with a black, white page and a message that reads "500 server error."

The iOS and Android versions of the Instagram and Facebook apps opened but would not load users' feeds or show them new content.

WhatsApp messages were not reaching their recipients, with sent texts sitting with a clock icon next to them to indicate that they haven't been dispatched.

Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg last night halted the sale of his Facebook stock after the company's value collapsed last year.

The controversial 34-year-old has seen his company fall from grace, and failed to sell a single share in the last three months of 2018.

Back in September 2017, Zuck promised to flog between 35million and 75million of his Facebook shares over 18 months.

It was part of a promise to give away most of his fortune, which requires converting stocks to hard cash.

Since then, he's sold about 30.4million shares worth roughly $5.6billion (£4.4billion).

But Bloomberg says that the Facebook CEO has stopped selling shares after 2018 saw Facebook's worth plummet.


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