Feeds

Twitter goes titsup

Mystery hackers knock-over micro-blogging service

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Updated Twitter was knocked offline on Thursday after the site became the victim of a distributed denial of service attack.

Users of the micro-blogging service are used to seeing the fail whale, a graphic that appears when service is over capacity, but this time around the site was left completely unreachable from around 1500 on Thursday (UK time) for around 90 minutes.

A terse messages on Twitter's status blog initially said the site was down before adding "We are defending against a denial-of-service attack, and will update status again shortly".

Unknown hackers take out Twitter

While there's no indication who might be behind the attack, Twitter has a few declared enemies. It has earned the ire of malware makers after turning on filtering technology to stop them exploiting its users.

More ominously it was cited as a key element in recent anti-government unrest in both Iran and China.

Graham Cluley, a security consultant at Sophos, initially said the hallmarks of the outage were not those of a planned downtime.

"Something has clearly gone wrong," he said. "It could be human error or some other cause. We have nothing to indicate that the outage is caused by a security problem at this point."

The outage has at least one positive effect. "All those Twitter addicts will be doing something more useful instead," Cluley quipped. ®

Update

Twitter returned towards the land of the living at around 1645 (UK time). The website remains difficult to reach while the attack is continuing, however some messages are getting through. The motives (much less the perpetrators) behind the assault remain unclear.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.