File under WTF – Twitter hit with DDoS

August 6, 2009

So I have been offline all morning (it happens sometimes) and I just logged on to check to see if my interview with Hope Larson had run on BitchBuzz yet so I could blast the URL on the various and sundry social networking websites I use (because, despite what people might think, there is a purpose to using Facebook and Twitter and such for me, career wise.  I now anticipate getting at least three “you’re so self-promoting/narcissistic/self-involved” comments on this post – fire away, I’m ready with pithy comebacks involving gymnasts and Christian Dior.)  Clearly (as you can tell by the link in the first sentance of this post) the story is up; and, after posting it in various places I was going to tweet it to the 196 random people following me on Twitter.  (That includes @hopelarson, the person the piece spotlights.)

Twitter – of course – was being completely janky and timing out on the connection.  I was actually on the phone with Rosie at the same time and I said “WTF, Twitter, you suck! Fail whale, fail whale!”

Yes I know I’m a dork.

Anyhoo… At that same time I picked up an RSS from Mashable – a post by Barb Dybwad – apparently this morning Twitter was hit with a DDoS attack.  (Incidentally – Barb – love the first line of the article, “This morning civilization almost ground to a halt as Twitter was hit with a DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service Attack and went down for over two hours, with intermittent outages continuing even as they got the situation more under control.”  Sweet snark, woman – that’s awesome writing!)

M’kay – that explains the Twitter acting like a jackhole issue.  I’ve talked about DoS (denial of service) attacks in a previous post about trolling and 4Chan.  DDoS (or, distributed denial of service) is basically the same thing as a DoS – it’s a hack that is intended to interupt the use of a website by it’s intended users.

This is not a hack that a bored teenage miscreant can carry off.  It takes some mad skillz.  (Yes, I used a z at the end of that word, deal with it.)  Not that I’m pointing fingers or anything (because why would I?  I actually admire skilled hackers as being geniuses) but is it coincidence or just irony of timing that this big site takedown comes on the heels of DefCon 17?

For those who do not know — DefCon = the biggest, most notorious, most awesome gathering of some of the most brilliant hacker minds in the world.  Something I’ve been dying to go to for years just to observe (though I’m terrified of my lappie w/the crap passwords I use being hacked and being mocked by hot hacker dudes and dudettes for using my Mom’s first grade teacher’s name as a pass.  FYI – not my pass – don’t bother trying it.)  AND DefCon happened to be last weekend in Las Vegas.

Could it possibly be that some gauntlet was thrown in the wee hours of a geek party amongst black hats and the Twitter DDoS is the result?  Is someone paying up in beer and hardware today?  The world will never know; but, it sure is interesting to think about.

^5 tricky hackers.


3 Responses to “File under WTF – Twitter hit with DDoS”

  1. maria Says:

    Apparently twitter passwords were being sniffed last weekend. I didn’t use twitter while at the Riv, so nothing happened. I did use an ATM, but.. doubtful they did anything to the one I used. As long as you went to it and did not use the wi-fi, I think you’d be fine. The parties were fun!

    • adorkablegrrl Says:

      I’m not surprised that Twitter passes were being sniffed – those tricky hack peeps are pretty notorious for that kind of tomfoolery at DefCon. I’m less concerned about my passes being picked up than I am about being openly mocked for how lame my passes are. I wouldn’t take a machine to something like DefCon that had any kind of info stored on it that could be used for nefarious purposes, even I’m not that dopey. 😉

      I bet the parties were fun – nothing like brilliant and weird people gathering together to cause mischief. I’m SUPER jealous that you got to go (even for the parties.)

      Hey we misses you back here in SF, FYI.

  2. adorkablegrrl Says:

    And yes – Twitter is still borked. Blern.

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