Facebook, Instagram and Messenger are down for many users

At least one security firm thinks the culprit of the Facebook outage could be a border gateway protocol routing leak.

Routing internet traffic around the world relies on the border gateway protocol (BGP), which manages how internet traffic is routed the internet. BGP relies on trust between network operators to not send incorrect or malicious data. But mistakes happen, and malformed data can form a “route leak” that leads to confusion over where internet traffic should go, and can lead to massive outages.

In a BGP route leak, the routing announcements from an autonomous system that guides the information to its destination is inaccurate and is rejected by either receiver, the sender or an intermediary along the route that packet is supposed to travel.

That may be what happened to Facebook.

“At approximately 12:52PM EST on March 13th, 2019, it appears that an accidental BGP routing leak from a European ISP to a major transit ISP, which was then propagated onwards to some peers and/or downstreams of the transit ISP in question, resulted in perceptible disruption of access to some well-known Internet properties for a short interval,” explained Roland Dobbins, a NETSCOUT principal engineer in an email to TechCrunch.

Facebook and its related family of apps have been down for most of Wednesday.

There’s not much more information to share at this point, but the web is freaking out (as is to be expected).

Facebook has confirmed the outage and we’ll update as we get more information.

The media management tool Naytev also confirmed the outage. “Facebook is experiencing a large outage, impacting posting to Facebook and the ability to log into Naytev. We are actively monitoring the issue and we hope Facebook resolves it soon,” the company said in a message to customers seen by TechCrunch.

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As the outage is persisting throughout the day, Facebook has taken to Twitter to respond to some of the claims that are floating around. The company earlier batted down a rumor that a DDoS attack was behind the outage.

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