Tuesday January 28, 2020
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Facebook, Instagram Suffer Total Outage in UK

The company acknowledged the service interruption via Twitter, but ruled out a possibility resulting from a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS attack, on its platform or servers

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Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Facebook and Instagram suffered a total outage in the UK and in some parts of Europe as thousands of users went on to Twitter to complain about not being able to use the social media platforms.

According to Downdetector website which monitors online outages, 66 per cent users reported a “total blackout”, with 23 per cent claiming they were unable to log in late Friday.

Both the platforms were reported to be back in action on Saturday morning.

“#facebookdown across #europe the end is nigh #brexit is here,” tweeted one user.

“Checking the Facebook status… Definitely down,” posted another.

facebook privacy
FILE – The Instagram icon is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Some people reported that Facebook-owned Instagram was also down.

Facebook was yet to comment.

In March, Facebook blamed a server configuration change that caused the outage of its app along with Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

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Facebook users worldwide reported problems logging into their accounts, sharing posts on its website and Instagram and not being able to refresh feeds or post new files using the social media giant’s family of apps.

The company acknowledged the service interruption via Twitter, but ruled out a possibility resulting from a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS attack, on its platform or servers. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

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WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)