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Social Networks The Internet Bug

Twitter Offline Due To DDoS 398

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hate-when-that-happens dept.
The elusive Precision dropped a submission in my lap about a DDoS taking down Twitter running on CNet. It's been down for several hours, no doubt wreaking havoc on the latest hawtness in social networking. Won't someone please think of the tweeters? Word is that both Facebook & LiveJournal have been having problems this AM as well.
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Twitter Offline Due To DDoS

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  • by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:34AM (#28972965)

    If any story deserves that tag, its this.

    • by wilsoniya (902930) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:38AM (#28973061)
      Zomg, how will corporations do their grassroots marketing now?!?!?!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)

      I know you're joking, but Twitter does have a nearly unique architecture that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to block without blocking the entire Internet. Now, say what you will about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of using it as a protest or organization tool, but at least it keeps the lines of communication open in spite of government interference.

    • Who the hell modded that "funny?" Nothing of value was lost -- social networking is about as important as celebrity gossip. The only actual loss to social is the lost revenue that these websites will experience, which will hardly be a blip on the radar.
      • by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:00PM (#28973501)

        Nothing of value was lost -- social networking is about as important as celebrity gossip.

        Cue James Earl Jones:

        I find your lack of faith disturbing. The ramifications of social networking have yet to be truly felt in the outer colonies. Communication is key to productivity and morale of the people. The Emperor is a fool to take it away and not realize it for the tool that it is. It is also quite helpful to keep tabs on the new T-17. Hot little number there. If the rebel alliance is to be deterred we must know where they are, what they're doing at all times, what they're currently dining on, when they've returned from the bathroom, and how they're wearing their hair today. Twitter is the key.

        Do not fail me again.

        • by Verdatum (1257828)
          T-17? Jeez, you'd think eventually Skynet would manage to prevent John Conner's existence by sheer dumb luck!
      • Lets look at this (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)

        1) Millions of people use it

        2) It is uses to allow poeple to follow people that are interesting to them. Not just gossip, but science information, events.

        3) Nearly instant knowledge of world events.

        4) Allows protesters to disseminate information

        5) Is allowing for a deeper understanding od human nature in large societies.

        6) It's another tool for expression.

        So I would say that it does have value.

        • by tthomas48 (180798) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:42PM (#28974329) Homepage

          Yes, I get CDC outbreak updates, political updates, software updates. These are hardly social nonsense. If you don't "get" twitter, that's fine, but don't assume it's useless.

          Twitter is like the news ticker with RSS feeds being the newspaper.

        • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:54PM (#28974599)

          1) Millions of people use it

          2) It is uses to allow poeple to follow people that are interesting to them. Not just gossip, but science information, events.

          3) Nearly instant knowledge of world events.

          4) Allows protesters to disseminate information

          5) Is allowing for a deeper understanding od human nature in large societies.

          6) It's another tool for expression.

          So I would say that it does have value.

          You need to look at opportunity cost: what is lost in order to gain these benefits?

          1) Millions of people could be using something else.
          2) "Following" people on Twitter is necessarily superficial compared to other media, which offer the same benefits without the message size limit.
          3) Instant knowledge of world events is available in many media, with Twitter again being more superficial than the others.
          4) No, it's a means by which protesters disseminate information. It worked in Iran because it's new and the government didn't know how to block it as well as other services at first. It has no inherent advantage in this area.
          5) Your point is preposterous. It allows for a deeper understanding of how people use Twitter, sure, but that's not valuable.
          6) And an inferior one at that.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by aj50 (789101)

            2) "Following" people on Twitter is necessarily superficial compared to other media, which offer the same benefits without the message size limit.

            And that's exactly the point, following someone on Twitter isn't even close to declaring them a "friend", it merely means that you find their thoughts interesting and would like to subscribe to their newsletter.

      • by GreggBz (777373) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:25PM (#28974005) Homepage
        For people that actually socialize it provides benefits. I've reconnected with old friends, made dates, organized parties, laughed (at someones silly pictures) and learned (from someones interesting post) countless times on facebook. I've found a few people that meant a lot to me, and have restarted some kind of relationship with them. I've joined groups that share like interests and attended events that I would have otherwise missed. It has value. I don't know of any other thing that does this stuff quite as well. In short, it's a useful way to communicate with most everyone you know.

        I can't speak for twitter, but millions of other people find use in it.

        The whole "I'm to cool for the popular social networking sites" crowd gets on my nerves.

        Because here we sit, sharing opines with like minded individuals on a public website.
        Does that make us elite?
        Pot-kettle-black as they say.
        • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:57PM (#28974639)
          I am just going to take a shot in the dark here, and guess that a typical exchange with an old friend you find on Facebook goes something like this:
          1. Add the person to your friends list
          2. Send message to the person, catch up with a quick exchange of 3-4 messages
          3. Never speak to the person again

          Maybe it is different for you, but that seems to be the general trend that I have noticed. People find these old friends on Facebook, but never seem to really communicate with then for very long. I would guess that if it really was so important to talk to someone, you could have called or emailed them; there are a few exceptional cases where a person really did vanish for a few years and nobody knew how to get in touch with them, but that is not as common as people seem to think it is.

          As a case-in-point, a friend of mine from high school who had been unreachable for 4 years because of her drug problems contacted me on AIM a few months ago; we reconnected with no social networking site, just using the same communication system we had been using before. I still have hundreds of email addresses, phone numbers, and screen names of people I was friends with at one point or another, most of whom are still reachable through those channels, who I simply do not talk to. Social networking websites do not solve this problem.

          With regard to events that you would not have known about...well, unless those events were not happening before the advent of social networking services, I strongly doubt that Facebook really made you more aware of the events or more able to find them. I still manage to find out about relevant events by email, phone calls, and word of mouth, just like people did 10, 50, and 100 years ago. Can you honestly say that you go to events that you would not have heard about except over Facebook? That you did not receive any emails, phone calls, or hear any of your friends (in real life) talking about? Maybe you can; that would make you an exceptional case, at least from what I have encountered over the past few years.

          It's not that I am too cool for social networking sites; I just do not use them, and that has not been a problem for me.

          • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:56PM (#28975707) Journal

            Can you honestly say that you go to events that you would not have heard about except over Facebook? That you did not receive any emails, phone calls, or hear any of your friends (in real life) talking about?

            Yeah actually that's how I hear about most things first. Then when I see people we might talk about the event,but its a great casual way to organize an event amongst groups of friends. Less intrusive than a phone call or aim. Email could be sort of an alternative, but not as rich.

            For most catching up of friends you are right, but you can also discover more common interests than what was possible before through a quick aim chat. You get to listen in on their conversations with other people and see how they interact with their friends and how they react to the days events. I can honestly say that I am now a much closer fired to some people I went through high school with, than when we were in high school.

    • by Zantac69 (1331461) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:40AM (#28973121) Journal
      Maybe Twitter can have a new slogan: "You never knew how much you didnt need us until we were not there."
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      That, and correcting them for using "tweeters", people who use twitter are called "twits", I thought everyone knew that.

  • by Kong the Medium (232629) <kongstew&googlemail,com> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:35AM (#28972987) Homepage
    a slashdot effect will certainly help in resolving the troubles.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:35AM (#28972995)

    This is what happens when you anger the googles.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:35AM (#28972999)

    http://status.twitter.com/

  • Quick! (Score:5, Funny)

    by erKURITA (1114707) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:37AM (#28973035)
    I've got to re-tweet this!!


    ... oh wait
  • It's kinda back... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pdboddy (620164) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `yddobdp'> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:38AM (#28973073) Homepage Journal
    My tweets are getting through, albeit slower than usual.
  • by tritonman (998572) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:38AM (#28973077)
    What is twitter? Is that some new web site or something?
  • Whoops. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BigglesZX (734765) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:40AM (#28973105) Homepage

    Might it have had something to do with the Twitter-based HTML demo (http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/08/05/2348219/HTML-5-Canvas-Experiment-Hints-At-Things-To-Come?art_pos=8) that made Slashdot earlier today? The site in question hits Twitter for a large number of tweets, and I imagine a lot of /.'ers were checking it out earlier. I doubt it helped, at the very least...

  • aha. (Score:5, Funny)

    by jrothwell97 (968062) <(moc.llewsorton) (ta) (nahtanoj)> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:40AM (#28973127) Homepage Journal
    So THAT's what Conficker's for.
  • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:41AM (#28973129)
    ...the nation's IQ spontaneously rose 23 points this morning. Scientists are investigating this puzzling phenomenon but have yet to discover the cause.
  • Oh No... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:41AM (#28973135)

    ...what will Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore do?

  • Defcon to blame? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zcold (916632)
    Whats more, she blames defcon at the end of the article.. "There has been no indication that any of these various attacks are connected. But it's probably not a coincidence that they all coincide with the annual Defcon hacker convention." yes, not a coincidence at all... thats what happens when "hackers" get together...
  • Cloud? Decentralize (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:44AM (#28973221) Homepage

    Decentralization is the solution to single-link failures.

    Cloud is centralization.

    JM2C, YMMV.

    • by MojoRilla (591502)
      No.

      Big sites have issues with DDOS attacks, period. Doesn't matter if they are cloud hosted or not.

      In fact, Amazon's cloud infrastructure is far more distributed than most other individual companies infrastructure. Of course, you have to set up multiple availability zones.
    • by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@digitaFREEBSDlfreaks.org minus bsd> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:39PM (#28974273)
      Agreed.

      The reason email was such a boon, and the only reason it's lasted so long, is because you didn't need a login on someone else's system in order to communicate with them. Of course, that's also why the folks who came up with it never (directly) made any money off of it. (Finding interviews with the inventor of '@' are left as a googlecise for the reader.)

      It's a tough position: the only way to last longer than a flash-in-the-pan fad is to give up your only obvious way to turn a profit... but no flash-in-the-pan fads have ever turned a profit either. So we'll continue to get these cyclical fads, all of us moving from service provider to service provider, like a migrating swarm of locusts, leaving fields of venture capital devastated in our wake, hoping that someone will figure out the magic formula to make money from it.

  • The slashdot post below: "HTML 5 Canvas Experiment Hints At Things To Come" connects to Twitter for its canvas demonstration.
  • by sxedog (824351) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @11:45AM (#28973235)
    Finally. now everyone can get back to work.
  • There was weeping and gnashing of teeth - by tweens everywhere

    And there was MUCH rejoicing - By everyone else

  • by gmuslera (3436)
    To affect Twitter, Facebook and LiveJournal should have been a Massive DDos. Which botnet was in this case? Maybe the "overhyped [slashdot.org]" Conflicker?
  • From my comcast connection at home, we've had difficulty accessing:
    twitter.com, ezrider.bart.gov, and facebook.com

    From my AT&T smartphone, via both the native browser (which uses AT&T's net connection) and Skyfire (which uses Skyfire's net connection -- they effectively proxy), I've had difficulty with:
    twitter.com and ezrider.bart.gov

    Now I'm finally in the office, on our DSL (sonic.net, copper owned by AT&T), and still can't access:
    twitter.com and ezrider.bart.gov

    I wonder if twitter.com and ezri

  • Won't somebody please think of the geeks...
  • I wonder what the loss of revenue is for companies like Dell who recently posted earnings of $3M from Twitter sales [slashdot.org]. I know for me, it's an inconvenience as I just released mobile versions [bit.ly] of my rpg supplements [morbidgames.com] and twittered about it [twitter.com], which will probably be lost in a see of tweets from various people this morning about twitter being down. I also promote other pdf books [twitter.com] through a second Twitter account that is undoubtedly not gaining any referral fees with no one clicking on the links since the site is down.

  • Oh come on. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@g m a i l . c om> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:02PM (#28973551) Homepage Journal
    This is how their "journalists" report news on CNet? FTA - the very last line:

    There has been no indication that any of these various attacks are connected. But it's probably not a coincidence that they all coincide with the annual Defcon hacker convention.

    You mean the one that ended Sunday? Nice. Real nice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Eil (82413)

      On top of that,

      "it's probably not a coincidence that they all coincide"

      makes me want to break pencils and kick puppies.

  • HTML5 demo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tom17 (659054) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:04PM (#28973579) Homepage

    I'm wondering if that HTML5 demo http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/08/05/2348219/HTML-5-Canvas-Experiment-Hints-At-Things-To-Come?art_pos=8 [slashdot.org] had anything to do with it. If the normal /. crowd went to the demo, which then in turn loads 100 'tweets' from twitter, is that not equivalent to twitter receiving a 100x slash-dotting?

    Tom...

  • Costly (Score:5, Funny)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:05PM (#28973603)

    This could be an expensive attack. There are estimates that just a few hours without social networking could lead to billions of dollars in increased productivity.

    Imagine if Slashdot went down. Spam would be wiped out in a day, Linux audio would be bug free in a week, and next month we'd see the release of GNU Hurd.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Culture20 (968837)

      "This could be an expensive attack. There are estimates that just a few hours without social networking could lead to billions of dollars in increased productivity. Imagine if Slashdot went down. Spam would be wiped out in a day"
      Your post advocates a

      (X) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (X) vigilante

      approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state

  • Nations across the world increase their economic output by 78% as millions of people at work start doing their jobs again, temporarily suspending a world-wise recession.

  • Twitter.com crashed on Thursday at about 3pm BST due to a "denial of twat" attack from thousands of virus-infected Windows PCs under the control of terrorist masterminds [today.com].

    Stephen Fry has been hospitalised and is queueing messages from his PatientLine text terminal in readiness for the site returning. "Twatter ++ungood sweeties zomg I do believe I'm feeling a little faint."

    The source of the attack is unknown, but is hypothesised to be either the Russian Mafia, the Iranian security forces, the Chinese government or Alan Davies recoiling from his latest humiliation on QI.

    News agencies around the world condemned the attack, which hits at the root of their online news-gathering processes, and have had to resort to following the Wikipedia "Recent Changes" feed. "Apparently BUSH IS GAY LOLOLOL," says the current CNN front page headline. "Who knew?"

    A new site, "Grunter," has attempted to take up the slack. Users of "Grunter" are freed from the wordy excesses of Twitter's 140-character limit and can post one of twelve pre-programmed onomatopoeic noises, such as "mmrph," "huh," "grah" or "tubgirl."

    Popular teenage angst poetry blogging and fan fiction site LiveJournal was affected by a similar attack at about the same time, but that attack was considered "just as well, really."

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:51PM (#28974547)

    Don't they get most of their stuff from Twitter these days?

    Granted, I don't watch CNN and get my impression of them from The Daily Show, but judging by that coverage it seems like CNN is reduced to just reading aloud stuff from Twitter.

    I'm still waiting for The Daily Show showing a clip showing a CNN host trying to read out "OMG PWNIES!!1!!111oneONE"

  • by sarkeizen (106737) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:35PM (#28976281) Journal
    ...lost! Oh the humanity.

    Perhaps this is just me but...probably what you had for lunch is pretty low on most peoples "care-dar". When I get together with my friends...know how often we talk about lunch...almost never. Know how may SMSs I've received about peoples lunch? or IMs or emails for that matter? Those figures hang pretty close to zero too. But Twitter? From my modest sampling of tweets it seems like it's pretty close to mandatory to shoutout about your ingestibles. I can think of some reasons for why this particular subject comes up but the real revelation for tweeters (or twits or whatever you call yourselves) should be that MOST OF YOU ARE REACHING PRETTY DAMN FAR TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT!!

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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