Denial-of-service attack downs Twitter

Twitter was knocked offline for several hours by a denial-of-service attack.

Denial-of-service attack downs Twitter

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The microblogging site is infamous for its frequent dips in service. However, on this occasion the company’s servers were flooded by a co-ordinated denial-of-service attack.

The service went down around 2:30pm UK time. By 6pm it had begun to re-emerge from the attack, although the service was still patchy at the time of writing.

The company’s website was unavailable for much of the afternoon, while Twitter clients such as TweetDeck were failing to connect with Twitter’s servers.

Writing on the company’s blog, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote: “On this otherwise happy Thursday morning [US time], Twitter is the target of a denial-of-service attack.

“Attacks such as this are malicious efforts orchestrated to disrupt and make unavailable services such as online banks, credit card payment gateways, and in this case, Twitter for intended customers or users.

“We are defending against this attack now and will continue to update our status blog as we continue to defend and later investigate.”

The motive for the attack is unclear. “The question on my mind is – why would someone want to attack Twitter?,” writes senior technology consultant, Graham Cluley, on the Sophos blog.

“I can’t imagine it’s a commerical competitor of theirs, but it could be someone with a financial motivation (blackmail?) or a teenager in a back bedroom with access to an awfully large botnet.”

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