What was hidden behind massive failure of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google and others?

March 6, 2024  12:07

On March 5, many social networks and websites experienced large-scale disruptions. Millions of users from various countries could not log into their Facebook accounts, the Instagram feed was not updated, problems were also noticed with YouTube, Google and other services and sites, including Discord and TikTok.

The cause of the large-scale failure, according to currently available information, was not cyberattack, as many believed, but an attack by the Yemeni Houthis: various sources, citing the Hong Kong provider HGC Global Communications Limited, report that the Houthis damaged Internet cables in the Red Sea that connected between Asia, Europe and Africa.

According to reports, 4 of the 14 submarine cables (Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1), Europe India Gateway (EIG), as well as Seacom and TGN-Gulf) were cut, resulting in approximately 25% of traffic being damaged. As a result, HGC had to reroute some traffic to Europe via mainland China and the United States.

According to Tim Stronge, an expert on submarine cables, more than 90% of communications between Europe and Asia pass through submarine cables in the Red Sea. There are currently 14 of these cables, but it is planned to lay 6 more.

“Fortunately, telecom operators have built a high degree of redundancy into the system - there are many cables running through the Red Sea,” he said.

The version with massive failures due to a cyber attack was rejected quite quickly. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration is aware of the problem but sees no signs of malicious cyber activity or any connection to the US primary election.

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