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Facebook hit by 2 hour Blackout in Europe

7 March 2012

Social Media giant, Facebook blamed the two-hour blackout on technical problems but did not provide further details.

3rd parties suggested a problem with Facebook's European DNS servers may have been at the root. These machines connect the address "Facebook.com" with the actual content of the website, and during the outage attempts to contact to them as normal received no response.

However users in Europe who accessed Facebook via DNS servers in the United States were able to do so without problems.

"Today we experienced technical difficulties causing the site to be unavailable for a number of users in Europe," a Facebook spokesman said.

"The issue has been resolved and everyone should now have access to Facebook. We apologize for any inconvenience."

CERT.be, the Belgian government's agency for responding to hacking and other disruption online, claimed on Twitter that the Facebook blackout was the result of a Distributed Denial of Service attack, but this could not immediately be confirmed.

In a DDoS attack, hackers deliberately render servers inaccessible by overloading them with traffic. Such a barrage aimed at DNS servers can make it impossible to connect users to a website when they type the address, but a CERT.be spokesman later said "CERT.be can't confirm a DDoS attack on Facebook"

The blackout also affected users in France, Germany, Russia and South Africa, among others.

Facebook, which has about 845 million active users worldwide, last month announced plans to raise $5bn in an stock market flotation expected to value the company at between $75bn and $100bn.

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Access Control Systems using Power over Ethernet (PoE) Technology from Borer