Twitter is Down, Reason Unknown
Article by George Norman
On 06 Aug 2009
Popular micro-blogging site Twitter is currently down – this is to say that if you want to access Twitter.com the site will not load and you will be presented with an “unable to connect” message. At least that’s what it says in Firefox 3.5 ; when I try to use Internet Explorer 8 , I am automatically directed to Bing. The Twitter Status team has acknowledged the problem and assured Twitter users that the issue will be remedied as soon as they realize what’s wrong.

“Site is down. We are determining the cause and will provide an update shortly,” says Twitter status. Having being dogged with a few such problems ourselves (yesterday for example FindMySoft was down for a couple of hours due to some server issues which we scrambled to fix in a hurry), we can understand what the Twitter team must be going through right about now. Hope you fix problem soon, guys!

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To help pass the time while the problem that brought Twitter.com down is identified and remedied, here is a Twitter-related piece of news you might find interesting. In order to address the issue of user security, Twitter is testing a means of filtering out messages that contain links to malware spreading sites. The whole thing goes something like this: if a user posts a message and links to a malicious site, that message is filtered out. The message linking to the known malware spreading site is not displayed; instead the Twitter user is presented with this message: “Oops! Your tweet contained a URL to a known malware site.”

Here is one other interesting Twitter-related piece of news: Twerp Scan, the tool that you can use to scan your list of followers for accounts that abuse Twitter for public relations purposes (accounts that follow you just because they want to get noticed themselves), has been relaunched. It has been redesigned and it has added the option to scan accounts that you follow.

UPDATE: It's a denial of service attack (DoS) that's brought Twitter down.

UPDATE 2: The Twitter team is fighting the attack and trying to recover from it. They say the site is back up, but I can't access it.

UPDATE 3: Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has acknowledged the DoS attack and spoke against these kinds of attacks: "
On this otherwise happy Thursday morning, Twitter is the target of a denial of service attack. 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 Stone.

UPDATE 4: Twitter is back up and running. As Twitter recovers from the DoS attack, some of you may experience longer load times and slowness; some requests may fail and you will be unable to post or follow from the site.

UPDATE 5: A closer look at the Twitter DoS attack here (inlcluding the reason for it).




Tags: Twitter, Twerp Scan, Fail Whale
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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