FRANKFURT (Reuters, AFP) - Internet sites including Facebook, the world's largest social network, Instagram and other popular sites suffered temporary outages on Tuesday and a hacker group associated with other recent high-profile attacks claimed it caused the outages.
A Twitter account that purports to speak for hacker group "Lizard Squad" posted messages suggesting that it was behind an attack that temporarily blocked several major web sites.
The Lizard Squad is a group of unknown hackers that has taken credit for several high-profile outages, including the attacks that took down the Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live network last month. The same group also claimed responsibility for the hacking of the official website of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) on Monday.
Facebook, its photo-sharing site Instagram, and other popular social networking sites, were unavailable from around 0600 GMT (2pm Singapore time) for upwards of an hour according to user reports and Web monitoring sites in countries across the Americas, Asia and Europe.
During the outages, Facebook users were greeted with the message: "Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on it and we'll get it fixed as soon as we can."
Full access to Facebook and Instagram have been fully restored, Facebook said in a statement later. The problem was caused by "a change that affected our configuration systems," the statement said.
It denied that any outside party was responsible. "This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems," the Facebook statement said. "Both services are back to 100 percent for everyone."
On Monday, a group calling itself "Official Cyber Caliphate" said it hacked MAS, but the airline said its data servers remained intact and passenger bookings were not affected.
The website, www.malaysiaairlines.com, showed a photograph of a lizard in a top hat, monocle and tuxedo, surrounded by the messages '404 - Plane Not Found' and 'Hacked by Lizard Squad - Official Cyber Caliphate'. A rap song could be heard.