Facebook down (A DNS Problem)

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Facebook down (A DNS Problem)

On Monday, for more than five hours, Facebook and its family of applications, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, were unavailable, disrupting the critical communication platform used by billions and demonstrating how reliant the world has become on a company under severe scrutiny.

The outage had a wide-ranging severe impact, resulting in unexpected cascade effects such as customers being unable to log in to shopping websites or smart TVs, thermostats, and other internet-connected gadgets that depend on Facebook’s APIs.

According to Facebook, changes to the underlying internet infrastructure, which coordinates traffic between Facebook’s data centers, are blamed for the outage. This disrupted communications and spread to other data centers, “bringing our services to a halt.”

Skysnag Comments

The recent outage is massive in showing our clients how important the DNS is and how important it is to secure it with the latest technologies.

Skysnag’s proprietary technology protects organizations against email impersonation. This is done by hooking up into a part of the DNS when authorizing email senders through SPF and DMARC. Skysnag’s importance in mitigating risks can be critically beneficial if an organization faces an outage in its servers for any reason.

What happened to Facebook is that the DNS and BGP routing information pointing to its servers suddenly disappeared They had completely stopped announcing their DNS prefixes, which led DNS resolvers worldwide to stop resolving their domain names.

Facebook is known to develop its own products internally; with the fall of their DNS alongside the email authentication protocols listed (SPF, DMARC, and all their DKIM keys), this immediately resulted in the opening of the email impersonation vulnerability. This means, at the moment, any attacker could have used Facebook’s domain name to send whatever they wanted as there were no enforcement policies in place.

If they had been using Skysnag, the vulnerability would have easily mitigated this; yes, the server outcome would have been the same, but at least the email impersonation vulnerability would have not existed.

This is one of the many reasons why Skysnag exists and a vital reason why businesses should avoid taking the manual route and instead delegate email enforcement and authentication on their DNS. So that if for any reason their servers fail, Skysnag would remain in protection mode with an assurance that no one would be able to impersonate their domain name and their stakeholders.

If you are reading this, reach out to us by filling this form to start the process of getting your organization protected against email impersonation.