Thursday, August 06, 2009

Twitter, and perhaps Facebook, are disrupted by DOS attack today


Multiple media sources report a denial of service attack on Twitter and possibly Facebook during the morning of Thursday Aug. 5.

Even Ashton Kutcher couldn't keep up his usual pace of tweets.

Twitter is reported back up with some slowness, and Facebook is investigating.

At 5:20 PM EDT today I could not get Twitter.com to respond. Curiously, Internet Explorer 8 on my Vista machine hung and had to be restarted. Facebook responded, although a bit slowly.

The AP story on MSNBC is here.

Later, even Live Journal was reported to have been disrupted.

A story today (8/7) on CNN reported "Pro-Georgia blogger 'George' target of Twitter attack", as if the entire DOS attack were motivated by a desire to target one blogger overseas relative to the Russian-Georgian conflict that started in 2008. The link is here. It's hard to believe that such an attack would be motivated this way.

Last month, the South Korean government and several US government agencies had outages due to a DOS attack. This new incident suggests that governments (or their "agents") might target companies that host dissent; the obvious question is whether Iran might do this in view of the controversy over its recent "election" and all the protests. Likewise, one wonders about Myanmar (or Burma).

Denial of service attacks were widely discussed in major media in early 2001, well before 9/11.

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