Home > Social Networking > Denial of Service attack launched against Twitter

Denial of Service attack launched against Twitter


About 2 hours ago, Twitter reported that their site was down, and that they were determining the cause. They then posted a follow-up post saying that they were under a denial of service attack, and that Twitter was back online but still being attacked.

Using Twitter this morning, the service has been going online and offline. If Twitter was online when you loaded this blog post, the Twitter logo below, hosted at assets0.twitter.com, will appear. If it doesn’t, Twitter is most likely offline.

Here’s the image:

Twitter has not provided any additional information on their blog or status blog other than the fact that they are in fact under attack and a brief description of what a DoS attack is. We’ll post additional information later as it becomes available.

Update 1: The Hot URLs list on Alexa, which shows which websites are being visited the most, updated every 5 minutes, shows Twitter.com as the #1 URL, followed by an article on President Obama, and then a CNN article on Twitter being brought down, Twitter.com/home, the Twitter Status Blog, a Wired article on Twitter being brought down, and a Mashable article on Twitter being brought down.

The fact that the first, fourth and fifth URLs are on Twitter hints that this may be a relatively sophisticated DoS attack. Those URLs being brought to the top could be from the computers attacking Twitter and frustrated users reloading pages to try to get Twitter to load.

Update 2: On Twitter the top trending topics are DDOS (meaning denial of service attack) and Denial-Of-Service. Apparently, word has spread about the attack.

Update 3: Twitter has announced on the Twitter Status blog that “As we recover, users will experience some longer load times and slowness. This includes timeouts to API clients. We’re working to get back to 100% as quickly as we can.” I’m inferring that the attack is over, although that was not directly stated.

Update 4: The service we use to post our articles to Twitter, Twitterfeed, was unable to tweet this article because of a 500 error received from Twitter. The error was on Twitter’s part.

Update 5: It looks like Twitter might have API issues for a while longer. This means that services like Twitterfeed and Bit.ly will not be able to post to Twitter. I had to manually post this article to Twitter, and it has already received 14 clicks (DDOS being a trending topic).

Update 6: According to CNET, Facebook has also been under a denial of service attack, but it only shut down some of their services, and the site was able to stay online. More info here.

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Categories: Social Networking
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