Facebook: Outage caused by internal DNS tinkering, not Anonymous

By on December 10, 2012, 6:12 PM

As the second major tech site to experience widespread downtime today, Facebook appears to be recovering from an outage that has lasted for more than an hour. Early into the interruption, users believed the problem pertained to a DNS issue. Although the main site (facebook.com) wouldn't resolve for millions of users, subdomains such as m.facebook.com, touch.facebook.com and beta.facebook.com loaded fine.

Although a purported member of Anonymous quickly took credit for causing outage, Facebook has since chalked the issue up to a botched traffic optimization test and not nefarious deeds. As part of its tinkering, the company made a DNS-related change and that resulted in many users being misrouted. The company says that the largest downtime occurred in Western Europe, but that Facebook should be fully operational now.

As of writing, the site seems to be loading normally on my end, though some folks are reporting that images are missing from the site, suggesting that its content delivering network (CDN) may also be suffering issues. If the site still isn't working for you and you're uninterested in accessing the service through one of its subdomains, one user has uploaded instructions on tweaking your hosts file to access the main site.

Earlier today, Google experienced intermittent issues across several of its services, including Gmail. Although Gmail outages aren't particularly uncommon, many users (not least of which is Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan) have reported that Google's problems were also causing Chrome to crash, presumably because it's tightly bound to logged-in Google accounts for cloud syncing among other less-kosher reasons.




User Comments: 5

Got something to say? Post a comment
Bark4Soul Bark4Soul said:

So why would it work just fine on a Mac, and not so great on windows? I dont mean to sound dumb but maybe I am lol

Guest said:

Cause you may be using 2 different DNS servers on each computer.

Anyone person or ISP using Google's DNS servers (8.8.8.8 & 8.8.4.4) would have experienced an outage getting to facebook earlier today.

But anyone using alternate DNS servers such as those used by Level3 or OpenDNS or home run dns servers would have not been affected and would have experienced no outage at all.

it was dns related not server related.

Jbucko said:

Some people could use a break from FB, an hour is not enough

Tygerstrike said:

I live how a suposed member of ANON tried to take credit. It does my heart good to laugh about that. I mean really. ANON may be filled with a bunch idjits, but when they take down a site they take that site down. To have it up in about a hour is not only impressive skills on FB end, but also points out that the person claimimg to be ANON and commiting the deed, was simply a poser. Besides FB needs to go down for about a week, so ppl can actually talk and meet to socialize. So much has gone into keeping us in our little domiciles. Not going out. Not interacting with real people.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I live how a suposed member of ANON tried to take credit. It does my heart good to laugh about that. I mean really. ANON may be filled with a bunch idjits, but when they take down a site they take that site down. To have it up in about a hour is not only impressive skills on FB end, but also points out that the person claimimg to be ANON and commiting the deed, was simply a poser. Besides FB needs to go down for about a week, so ppl can actually talk and meet to socialize. So much has gone into keeping us in our little domiciles. Not going out. Not interacting with real people.

>_> A lot of the people that use facebook are pretty young, and a lot of the younger folks are into some kind of education raging from middle school to college

They communicate with other people in person by default lol. PC/Console games keep more people inside since you can't take them with you, unlike facebook

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.