In the wake of the recent hours-long outage of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, there’s been a lot of speculation regarding why it happened.
I believe Facebook (which owns Instagram and WhatsApp) was caught routing the data from all of it’s services to a single collection point, and an engineer from within deliberately misconfigured the servers to act as a canary for those who are paying attention.
The outage was a sign that big changes are happening.
From a technical standpoint, it’s crazy that a data company like Facebook would route their services in a way that allows a single point of failure. Unlike security, which is a constant arms race, redundancy and reliability are one of the few factors a service can control.
If a server that provides a service is compromised, malfunctioning or offline, routing should be redirected to a list of backup servers. Even better, there should never be one server but rather a group of servers worldwide all doing the same job.
That’s why it’s my belief that the 14 hour-long outage was an inside job meant to be a warning shot that something is wrong.
It should bother you that Facebook, a company that is in the business of selling personal data, wants all of its data to gather at a single location.
It should also bother you that two important Facebook execs have since departed the company. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, and Chris Daniels, who ran WhatsApp, are now gone. Cox was one of Facebook’s first 15 engineers. In other words he was there from the start–when ideals, rather than power, set the direction.
Stay woke 👀