Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : International Media Did Not Blame China

No mainstream media blamed China for the bizarre 6-hour downtime of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Practically all of them 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.

Chinese netizens protest

Fact #2 : 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker, Sun Jisu, Does Not Exist

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.

That is a complete lie that is easily verified with a quick check on the Reuters website.

Fact #3 : 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker, Sun Jisu, Does Not Exist

There is no 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu. He does NOT exist.

The fake news websites used the picture of Chinese hacking prodigy called Wang Zhengyang, when he spoke 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).

13 year old Chinese hacker Wang Zhengyang
Wang Zhengyang at 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference

Fact #4 : Facebook Services Brought Down By Configuration Changes

Facebook services were not brought down by an external threat like 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.

He also asserted that it was a faulty configuration change, and no user data was compromised.

Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.

Fact #5 : Facebook HQ Was Accessible

At no point during this 6-hour outage were Facebook employees prevented from entering their headquarters.

In any case, many Facebook employees work remotely, as well as at their many distributed data centres globally.

That is just a fake claim based on popular misconceptions of what hackers do.

By Adrian Wong