A Massive Attack Against Facebook, Instagram Happened Last Night

Wondering why you can't get onto Facebook, or Instagram, or another Web service? There's a very good reason -- a massive online attack is currently underway against servers in the United States.

Update, 8:30AM 28/1: Everything's back to normal, obviously. That half an hour last night was rough, though... Read below for the original story.

A spokesperson from Facebook and Instagram says that the outage was not due to any attack from a third party, but rather an error in the social media sites' configuration.

Earlier this evening many people had trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems. We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100 per cent for everyone.

iPViking currently shows huge amounts of online denial of service attack traffic towards IP addresses in the US. I'm no computer security expert, but I do like to look at IPViking occasionally and I haven't seen the site show numbers this high ever before.

Attack traffic seems to be coming mainly from within the US, as well as China and Brazil -- likely from compromised home and business PCs infected with some kind of virus and slaved into a botnet.

These PCs will be sending junk requests through HTTP and other Internet protocols towards the servers of Facebook, Instagram et al, driving them offline with the sheer volume of data.

At the moment noone has taken responsibility for the attacks, but we'll wait and see what happens. More to come.

Update: Attack traffic volume continues to grow.

Update: Looks like both Instagram and Facebook are back up, half an hour or so since the attack started. Back to your regularly scheduled cat photos, folks.



    Obligatory apocalypse joke: THIS IS THE APOCALYPSE.

    More interestingly look how dead Australia is on the IPViking map. Is that a reflection on how few computers we have? How good at basic PC security we are? Or how crap our internet is?

      Option number 3

        Shhhh... Tony doesn't care about your internet graffiti.

          They want pc's that can slow down facebook and insta by spamming with huge amounts of data.. not pc's that slow down the attack with shoddy interwebs :P

        best thing about Australian internet, when you can be DoS'd (yes one D) by a mate in battlelog for bf4 chat client by them spending the word beep 10 times a second using macros allone.

          Milzy is that you? BEEEP

      It's how many Aussie PCs are involved in the attack. I am a bit surprised at the lack of Canadian originators.

      The Ethiopians as well! There's not a lot of unfriendly traffic on the internet highway in Ethiopia.

    1. That site is mesmerizing.
    2. I'd like to know how that share up there (1 share) was possible.

    Thanks for the info.

    What outage? Maybe people need to check their settings.

    So who is this mysterious person or organisation called 'noone' currently attacking the web?
    Are they the new Smersh or Spectre?
    Does no-one know?

    for some reason certain DNS routers were getting SMASHED
    I switched to open DNS and all the sites came back immediately

    THe lizard squad said in some interviews. that they were able to hit all these companies because of certain flaws in some DNS routers.

    Last edited 28/01/15 7:59 am

    I may be a bit naive in saying this but a configuration mis-deployment seems like a more likely cause for a global outage then a DDOS attack. Surely facebook has a distributed infrastructure and some kind of distribution network in place, a DDOS attack wouldn't take all that down on a global scale. Broken configuration quite possibly could though.

    And in other news... World GDP inexplicably increased by 0.25% and friends and families started talking again.

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