Facebook and Instagram Suffer Global Outage – DDoS Suspected

Thousands of Facebook users were left bewildered as the social networking site went down for almost 40 minutes, possibly due to a DDoS attack. They were not able to login as the main page was showing a message that said something is broken and that they (Facebook) were working on it. It then gave them a link saying “Go Back” (See image below). The site went down around 1AM ET and stayed inaccessible for the next 40 minutes or so.

Facebook down Jan 2015

At the same time, Instagram too went down – possibly because it relies on Facebook for allowing people to sign up. Since the two sites are very popular and see millions of addicts, people’s level of anxiety was increased as evident by their posts on the other social network platform called Twitter. The place, Twitter, also became a center for posting jokes regarding the outage of Facebook and Instagram.

The Telegraph says Tinder too was down due to the same reasons and it was also, alongwith Instagram, was down for the next 40 minutes starting 1AM ET.

Though Facebook and Instagram are now up and running, the managers did not speak of any attack and attributed the event to technical glitch, said the Telegraph. Meanwhile, a hacker group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attack due to which Facebook was down.

In its post on Twitter, the Lizard Group posted the names of social networks that were apparently taken down by it. It is not clear though, by looking at the tweet that Lizard Group is claiming responsibility.

Facebook and Instagram Down

This was the second largest Facebook from its inception. The first largest outage lasted for around two hours and it was in September 2010. Facebook has over 1.25 billion monthly active users and 864 million active users daily. The outage meant that Facebook not only 40 minutes worth of ad revenue but also 98 million posts (content) that it could have reaped for its benefits. The Lizard group has also warned that it will dump some email IDs related to Malaysian Airlines.

Lizard Squad threatens Malaysian Airlines.Following are some jokes circulating on Twitter about Facebook and Instagram outage.

Tweet Joke 1

Tweet Joke 2

Tweet Joke 3

Did you notice the outage?

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Arun Kumar is obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. He also offers online training for Business English. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. Dan

    Lizard Squad, pals of the one caught, or someone else using that name? I’ve seen Google be more “analytical” this month re vpns at least in the USA; right now, if I tried to use Cyberghost I would be met in any browser with a Google error page saying pin-key data don’t match, “sorry! no Google access”…which w/o more known makes me suspect vulnerable routers/modems again; are these ddos calls emanating from Google VM machines again, especially with the Tor community reporting ongoing directory authority rejections of bridges/exit nodes (and use of any vpn not yet mentioned); or are these ddos events coming from diverse concurrent single IPs?

  2. Arun Kumar

    Could be. There are several other compromised devices from the IoT people build to control their home electricity and other things. In such cases as routers and other connected devices, people don’t even care to change their default passwords so they are easy to compromise. And hackers are making good use of them.

  3. Dan

    Thanks; you mention more attack vectors that sometimes slip my consideration. Hackers are making use of bad gateways alright; according to Krebs’ site recently, he reminds the actual code Lizard Squad types are using was first discovered a while ago by “Dr. Web”, and he defines it as “crude” code…if something so simple can easily be passed around miscreants having minimum skills like a new “party favor”, and pranksters just need to ping for points of access, all gateways will need to get as secure against such intrusions as (ironically) current Comcast-issued routers/modems appear to be. Cheers!

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