Human error

Many people assume that any web disruption can be linked to hacking. Experts disagree. However, it is more common for mundane causes like human error.

Companies, technology giants, even supermarkets all make mistakes. One cyber security expert explained that they are often ‘under pressure’ to do things quickly.

Meta’s Oct. 4 outage was ultimately caused by user error. It had been affected when an update went wrong and its servers were disconnected from the Internet.


There have been increases in the sophistication of hacking, experts say, with numerous Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks seen recently, including on Microsoft, Google and other massive companies.

DDoS attacks involve flooding the system of a victim with internet traffic in an effort to overload and take it offline.

Meanwhile, ransomware — a form of cyberattack which locks files and data on a user’s computer and demands payment in order for them to be released back to the owner — is also on the rise.

It was described by Britain’s head cybersecurity agency as ‘the greatest immediate threat’ among all cyber threats facing the country. Businesses need to take more precautions to ensure their safety.

Traffic too high

MailOnline received a report from a Cyber Security Expert stating that Covid caused an unexpected spike in traffic, straining their infrastructure.

According to him, the cause of many outages was due to increased online usage and traffic. 

Centralised systems

Meta is one of many companies that have centralised their back-end systems. This means that there’s no single point for failure.

Meta’s case means that it could affect Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, just like last month.

A scientist on the internet agreed that centralised systems can be a problem. Another expert, however, said that Meta’s outage was a sign of the benefits of decentralised systems that are more reliable and don’t place all the eggs into one basket. 

Ageing web infrastructure

Experts say that the World Wide Web was created in 1989 and is an “aging infrastructure”.

With the increasing traffic to the internet and the volume of users, the systems are being put under greater pressure.

One expert said that businesses should test their infrastructure, and ensure they have failsafes.