It’s 9:48am. I’ve tweeted about 5 times since getting on the bus this morning. I arrive at work at 9 to find twitter down. Hootsuite, iTweet, Seesmic, Tweetdeck, even good ol’ Twitter.com – Nothing. I’ve been refreshing the tab every 10 seconds on average. I’ve tried to get on twitter, to no avail, 3 times since I began writing this post – and I’m only a few sentences in. Is that sad or what?
But it appears I’m not the only one – No sooner did I realize twitter was having problems when my coworker called out from behind a desk “Is anyone else having trouble with twitter!?” 3 seconds later I received a gchat from my friend and PR Peep, Sasha.
Sasha: Morning Davidis your Twitter working?me: no!Sasha: well is it loading?me: its notSasha: me either. okay, good, it’s not just me. lol.
And while Google News serves as a decent backup – it’s no Twitter. I’ve used the new Hootsuite (Full Review to Follow – Probably Tomorrow or Later Today) to build up customized groups and tabs of people and outlets I follow. I have one Tab – Media Outlets – Separated Into Top Tier News Feeds, Tech Blogs, Social Media News, and Political News – And Another Tab Set Up with All The Reporters and Journalists Who Cover Those Beats – Making it REALLY EASY for me to follow the latest breaking news and buzzed about topics, as the outlets tweet links to the articles and as the reporters themselves discuss the topics and what their forthcoming coverage.
Twitter has revealed that it’s defending against a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS), in which the target is typically saturated with so many fake requests that the victim is unable to return legitimate ones.
Knowing that the cause is a malicious attack does take Twitter off the hook to some degree – it may have been assumed that the site was simply failing to scale properly, as had happened in the past. DDoS attempts are difficult to defend against even for some established sites.
As to who might have it in for Twitter: the site is so large and visible that the attacker could be anyone…from a lone prankster to a more organized outfit.
Update 2: According to Twitter HQ:
Ongoing denial-of-service attack 2 hours ago
We are defending against a denial-of-service attack, and will update status again shortly.
Update: the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.
Update (9:46a): 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.