Feeds

Twitter goes titsup

Mystery hackers knock-over micro-blogging service

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.