22 October 2018
Security site NORSE identifies a surge in internet traffic from China to the United States. Photo: YouTube
Security site NORSE identifies a surge in internet traffic from China to the United States. Photo: YouTube

Experts see China hand in Facebook breakdown

Computer experts suspect that a half-hour breakdown in Facebook’s services Thursday afternoon was caused by a large-scale hacker attack launched from China.

But although Facebook appeared to be under attack the real target may have been a site with a related domain name system, Taiwan’s Apple Daily reported Friday, citing Li Jung-shian, a professor in electrical engineering at National Cheng Kung University.

Li said that according to data from hacker tracking website NORSE, the incident corresponded to a sudden barrage of traffic from China to the United States, which might have affected Facebook. (

Internet security expert Roger Chiu, general manager of G-ray Technologies, said Facebook came under a large-scale distributed denial-of-service attack, in which a multitude of compromised systems assail a single target. It was the same type of attack that affected Apple Daily and the June 22 polling system.

But Francis Fong, president of the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation, said that even if the Facebook case was a cyberattack it was not related to the attacks on Apple Daily and the June 22 website because they had a different focus, Metropolis Daily reported Friday.

Fong added that a breach of Facebook’s defenses is a serious incident but attempts to trace this kind of system breakdown are mostly unsuccessful.

Facebook Inc., owner of the world’s largest social networking site, apologized to users after its system went down between 4pm and 4:25pm Hong Kong time on Thursday.

“Earlier this afternoon (June 19), we experienced an issue that prevented some users from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 percent. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused,” Facebook said in an emailed statement.

The company did not disclose how many countries were affected by the crash. It also did not give any reason.

Related story:

Crash II: When Facebook went dark in the city that never sleeps 

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EJ Insight reporter

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