Thursday, August 6, 2009

Twitter Network Closed by Denial-of-Service Attacks

Micro-blogging service Twitter was taken offline for more than two hours on Thursday in what the company believes was a co-ordinated attack. The popular site has been subject to a so-called denial-of-service attack, according to the firm's official blog. Denial-of-service (DOS) attacks take various forms but often involve a company's servers being flooded with data in an effort to disable them.

"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," said Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on the company's blog. The service was restored shortly after the blog post, but the company's status page suggests that the site is "continuing to defend against and recover from this attack".


Twitter is a great way to monitor breaking news, often well before the major media networks. The network has also been used by activists to coordinate their movement while demonstrating and protesting against specific government or commercial activities. This allows intelligence officers to keep abreast of new developments.


Not only is Twitter faster than networks, it has been shown to get news out 15 minutes earlier even than Google can. This speed allows millions of people to connect speedily with what is happening around the world or to their particular cause. Twitter has become a very valuable and respected resource. However, with Twitter being hacked into three previous times this year and confidential files being made public, confidence could well erode quickly after today's DDOS attacks. Great strides will need to be made soon with their security to prevent further breaches.


  • "Did Koobface [Virus] Cause the Twitter DDoS Attack?", PC Magazine, 8/6/09.
  • "Twitter Outage Raises Concerns For Government", Government Technology, 8/6/09.
  • "Twitter site reopens after attack", BBC News, 8/6/09.
  • "Twitter Hacked, Confidential Files Made Public", Fox News, 7/16/09.
  • "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live", Time, 6/7/09.
  • "Students‐use‐Twitter‐to‐storm‐presidency‐in‐Moldova", Telegraph, 4/7/09.
  • "G20: Twittering from the demos", Guardian UK, 4/1/09.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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