Was Facebook taken down by a 13 year-old Chinese hacker?
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!
Claim : Facebook Was Taken Down By 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker!
On 4 October 2021, Facebook and ALL of its messaging and social media platforms went down for about six hours, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram!
Several websites, as well as people on Twitter and Facebook started claiming that Facebook was taken down by a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Jiso / Sun Ji Soo.
There are quite a number of these claims, so just SKIP to the next section for the facts!
International media claimed that “China” was behind the suspension of social media services in the world.
According to Reuters, a Chinese hacker named “Sun Jisu” is responsible for stopping the services of “Facebook”, “WhatsApp” and Instagram, and added that the Chinese hackers are only 13 years old.
The Chinese hacker “Sun Ji Su” has topped the famous search engines and Twitter platforms during the past minutes, after disabling WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook today 2021 in all countries of the world, amid questions among activists about the details of this information.
Truth : Facebook Was Not Taken Down By 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker!
The story of a 13 year-old Chinese hacker taking down Facebook is just fake news created by fake news / clickbait websites to go viral and get money through ads.
Here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : International Media Did Not Blame China
On one blamed China for the bizarre 6-hour downtime of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.
The international media referred to cybersecurity specialists who pointed at DNS failure as the most likely cause, not a state actor like China.
Clickbait / fake news websites intentionally added that false claim to “trigger” Chinese netizens and Sinophiles to share their fake news.
Fact #2 : Reuters + NYT Did Not Report On Any Chinese Hacker
Reuters did not report that a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu was responsible for the bringing down Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.
Neither did the New York Times write about a 13 year old hacker attacking Facebook.
These are complete lies that are easily verified with a quick check on the Reuters and New York Times websites.
Fact #3 : 13 Year-Old Sun Jisu / Sun Jiso Does Not Exist
There is no 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Ji So / Sun Ji Soo. He does NOT exist.
In addition, that is a Korean name, not Chinese – a mistake that a non-Asian person would make.
Fact #4 : That Was An Old Picture Of Wang Zhengyang
The fake news websites used a picture of Chinese hacking prodigy, Wang Zhengyang, speaking at the 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference.
Wang Zhengyang was 13 year-old at that time, and would be 20 years old this year – 2021. Here are two more pictures of him speaking at that event.
Fact #5 : Facebook Services Were Brought Down By Configuration Changes
Facebook services were not brought down by a hacker, but configuration changes their own engineering team initiated internally.
Facebook’s Vice-President of Infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, confirmed that “configuration changes” on their “backbone routers” caused the 6-hour long failure.
Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.
Fact #6 : Access Problems Were Caused By Same Servers
Facebook run their internal systems through the same servers, so they became inaccessible when those servers were taken offline.
This included security systems that controlled the fob door locks, with a New York Times reporter tweeting that Facebook staff were unable to gain access to an unspecified office using their keycards.
However, many Facebook staff are working from home due to COVID-19 precautions, so this was only a big problem for engineers trying to gain access to the Facebook data centre in Santa Clara, California.
At no time was this security issue caused by a hacker. It was due to the same servers that went offline.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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