Twitter and Facebook Attacked – Hackers Flood, Cripple Popular Social Networking Services

failwhaleAugust 6, 2009 – Popular social-networking sites Twitter AND Facebook were working feverishly this morning to defend their critical servers from Denial-of-service attacks that have nearly crippled the popular social networking sites. For those that don’t know what these DOS Attacks are, they are the same type of cybercrime perpetrated last month against several major government websites of both the US and South Korea. Investigation is on-going to find those responsible for that one as well.

CERT defines a “denial-of-service” attack as “characterized by an explicit attempt by attackers to prevent legitimate users of a service from using that service.” Basically, what hackers do is “flood” the network servers for a website to block legitimate traffic from getting trough. There intrusions prevent anyone, and in the case of Twitter this am, everyone, access to the websites.

Popular websites have been affected by these types of attacks in the recent past as well. Torrent & file-sharing site Pirate Bay was downed by a similar attack after the owners sold the site to Global Gaming Factory amidst mounting litigation and legal problems earlier in 2009.

Outside of the attacks on US and South Korea, even those governments virtually shut off from the rest of the world have been affected also. During the 2009 Iranian Election Protests, Iran’s official website was attacked and down as well by a similar intrusion.

In today’s attack, Twitter was affected by about 3 hours of total downtime. Facebook has fared a little better, with users being able to access the service but being hit with a plethora of error messages and a denial of some of the site’s features. Time will tell when everything gets back to normal for both sites.

The net effect of today’s attacks should be telling. For the social-networking giants, this should bring attention to increased security in order to prevent this type of malicious intrusion from affecting their services in the future. For users, this will shed to light the crack-like dependency we have to social networking in this day and age. And somewhere in America, there is a grandma somewhere watching her daytime soaps on television that has no idea anything bad has happened.

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One Comment on “Twitter and Facebook Attacked – Hackers Flood, Cripple Popular Social Networking Services”

  1. saeed Says:

    why can`t hackers leave us alone

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