Fact Check: Did a 13-year old, Chinese hacker hacked Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp? Here's the truth.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  6 Oct 2021 2:31 PM GMT
Fact Check:  Did a 13-year old, Chinese hacker hacked Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp? Heres the truth.

Hyderabad: On October 4, 2021, Facebook and all of its social media platforms went down for about six hours. Following that, Social media users are sharing a post with a claim that the failure was due to a 13-year old Chinese Hacker called Sun Jisu.

It is also being claimed that international media claimed that China was behind the disruption in the services and Reuters named the Chinese hacker responsible for it.

NewsMeter received the viral post on WhatsApp to fact check.

Fact Check:

The claim is False.

NewsMeter ran a reverse image search of the boy in the viral picture and found a report by 'Daily Mail' dated 8 October 2014. Our fact check team found the same picture carried by the media outlet and the boy was 13-year old at that time. According to the reports, the boy is identified as 'Wang Zhengyang' in the report and he has been dubbed as China's 'hacking prodigy'.

The report further states that the boy was working with Tsinghua University in Beijing and Zhengyang spoke at the 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference and had contacted a popular Beijing-based software company about potential system flaws.

"You have to attack the websites first to find its weaknesses," he said and explained that the school website he hacked was not for his own class but the high school students at the same school." read the report.

The team searched for Sun Jisu, we found no results related to the name of any person. Moreover, the name Sun Jisu is a Korean name

Furthermore, we looked for international media reports claiming that 'China' was behind the outage, we found none. No credible media organization across the world has published anything related to it. Additionally, we checked the Reuters website for a report of Sun Jisu being the hacker behind the crash down of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, the fact-checker found none.

With the help of the Internet, the team looked at the reason for the outage of Facebook and its other social media platforms. We found a BBC report: "It blamed an internal technical issue, which not only affected Facebook's services but reportedly also employees' work passes and email. In a statement, Facebook said that the faulty configuration change affected the company's internal tools and systems which complicated attempts to resolve the problem."

The fact-checker found a report by 'Wion,' news outlet that published an interview with Santosh Janardhan, Facebook's vice president of infrastructure. As per the reports, he said that "configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication".

Hence, the claim is false. The 13-year old boy Chinese hacker did not disrupt the services of three social media platforms- Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Claim Review:A 13-year old boy, a Chinese hacker hacked Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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