Facebook struggles to deal with epic outage

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?

Facebook has restored service to its main app and Instagram, after the world's largest social network suffered their biggest ever outage that frustrated users across the globe for close to 24 hours. Facebook notified users and by Thursday morning, the issue appeared to be largely resolved, as the official Instagram account on Twitter said, "Anddddd. we're back".

In Washington, campaigners who have long called for the break-up of Facebook said the outage showed how the concentration of ownership of tech platforms is "dangerous" for consumers.

After staying tight-lipped on the cause of the outage for almost 24 hours, Facebook early Thursday afternoon blamed it on a "server configuration change that triggered a cascading series of issues".

The social network said on Thursday that changes to a server configuration were to blame.

On Wednesday, Facebook dispelled speculation that the outage was caused by a denial-of-service attack (DDoS), a type of cyberattack that disrupts an online service by flooding it with requests. Today, Facebook boasts 2.3 billion monthly users, The Verge reports, making the recent outage the worst yet for the company. But the company said Thursday that it has fixed the problem and that its systems are "recovering". The interruption also affected gameplay for owners of Oculus VR headsets, a company that Facebook bought in 2014.

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. Dan Patterson, senior producer at CNET, told CBSN that cybersecurity experts were unable to shed light on the issue.

Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that US federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.