Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users lost access to the social network’s applications in parts of the world on Wednesday as a result of a collapse of services because of data attack.
Industry professionals have suggested Facebook turned off certain services because of a huge data attack, where an information breach could have taken place.
Cyber attacks on the social network are frequent occurrence but this is the most severe attack they have suffered for almost a decade.
The Tech giant, which has more than 2.7bn users, acknowledged the outage after users noted on Twitter they could not access Facebook or had limited functionality.
On WhatsApp, problems uploading images and contacting certain contacts were also reported. The Facebook workplace business feature was also reported to be down and affecting millions of businesses worldwide who were unable to contact their teams.
The cause of the interruption has not yet been made public. However, Facebook refuted any claims of a data attack and indicated the outage was not related to an attack aimed at overwhelming the network.
According to the website downdetector.com, outages were heaviest in North America and Europe, but some users appeared to be affected in other regions.
Last November, a Facebook outage was attributed to a server problem and a September 2018 outage was said to be the result of “networking issues”.
The outage is occurring against a political backdrop of legislators in the US and beyond considering whether large technology firms – not just Facebook – should be broken up.
The concerns for users lies primarily on the security of personal data, As services are temporarily down some analysts speculate how is the data secured and whilst the data breach has not been verified the vulnerabilities are there for everyone to see.
Many have turned to Twitter to make jokes about the outage. The hashtags #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown have been used more than 300,000 times so far.
World Press Freedom – Support our free Journalism with a one-off donation – People like you make WTX possible – Thank you!
World Press Freedom Day being observed today – Support WTX News and others who work night and day to bring you the most compelling news stories like the Khashoggi murder, which we broke in the UK!