Facebook attributes recent platform outage to 'malicious apps'

Summary:Major websites are just going down left and right this week.

Third-party developers might have had difficulting accessing the Facebook Platform on Wednesday, and now the social network is offering a few answers.

Without naming names, Facebook basically attributed the problem to a generic response: malicious apps.

Facebook engineer Eugene Zarakhovsky stressed in a blog post on Thursday that the "Facebook Platform and our users are constantly under attack from malicious apps."

According to Zarakhovsky, there is a basic procedure already set up to handle such attacks.

However, the incident on August 13 apparently got out of control. Here's more:

On August 13th, we undertook such a procedure. We started with a broad pattern that correctly matched many thousands of malicious apps but, unfortunately, also matched many of your high quality apps. When we detected this error, we immediately stopped the process and began work to restore access. The process took longer than expected because of the number of apps affected and bugs related to the restoration of app metadata.

The Facebook Platform should be available to developers again, and Zarakhovsky promised that the developer team on the Facebook side is already working on new tools and protocols to better handle such an incident.

Facebook isn't the only major website to experience a widely-reported downtime this week.

On Wednesday, The New York Times experienced a significant downtime causing the entire website to shut down. However, the Times asserted that the outage was the result of a failure during regular maintenance.

Today, The Washington Post is back up and running today after revealing that it was indeed the latest target of a cyberattack by the Syrian Electronic Army.

According to The Atlantic, the Washington Post wasn't alone, adding the websites of CNN and Time Magazine to the list of major news outlets targeted by the hackers supporting the regime of current Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Topics: Security, Social Enterprise, Developer


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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