Facebook and Instagram went down for an hour or so last night and the global outage sent users into a panic. All services are now restored, but the situation gave a glimpse into the huge affect a Facebook outage has on the rest of the Web.
In addition to Facebook, users from around the globe also reported "slow or blocked" traffic on other websites during the time Facebook was down. That's likely because many sites allow users to log in using their Facebook credentials.
U.S.-based online match-making site Tinder, a unit of IAC/InterActive Corp (IACI.O), and Hipchat, the workplace instant-messaging service of Australian enterprise software company Atlassian, were also down around the same period, but recovered.
So, how did Facebook go down in the first place? One infamous hacker group is claiming responsibility, but Facebook is telling a different story.
Lizard Squad, the hacker group behind the attacks on PlayStation and Xbox networks over the holidays, claimed responsibility for the shut down on Twitter, but that's unlikely. Facebook officials have said the outage was their fault.
“This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems," Facebook said. "Both services are back to 100 percent for everyone.”
Still, now is a good time to update your Facebook password on the off chance an attack was responsible for the outage. It's better to be safe than sorry. Click here to download a free tool that will help your create and store strong passwords.