Twitter suffers ongoing outages, UGNazi hackers take credit

By on June 21, 2012, 4:39 PM

In what is said to be its largest outage in eight months, Twitter experienced several service interruptions Thursday afternoon, with one outage lasting at least 40 minutes according to various reports. Data from analyst firms such as Sandvine, Apica and Pingdom show sporadic downtime starting at approximately 11AM ET.

Pingdom specifically cites downtime between 11:59AM PT and 1:08PM ET in addition to many briefer outages.

As of writing (5:30PM  ET), the service appears to be working properly, though the company hasn't posted a status update since earlier today, at which point engineers were working to resolve the issue: "Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter. Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue. Update: The issue is on-going and engineers are working to resolve it," the company wrote on its status blog.

Hackers of UGNazi quickly took credit for the downtime, with member Hannah Sweet (a.k.a. "Cosmos" and @CosmosTheGod) claiming the group disabled Twitter for 40 minutes worldwide with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack -- a favorite weapon among hackivists and other mischievous Webgoers. Sweet said UGNazi is targeting Twitter because it supports the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

Despite Sweet's claims, Twitter says the outage is due to a cascaded bug in one of its infrastructure components, promising more details soon.




User Comments: 22

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Panda218 Panda218 said:

oh boy another DDoS attack... HOW BORING

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Well, that explains why I couldn't check my tweets earlier. In other news: Millions of Americans were left speechless today when dew formed on lawns across the country just prior to sunrise. Although Nature has claimed responsibility for the event, scientists say that malfunctioning sprinkler systems are to blame for the vapory beading. Developing...

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

Thats so funny, I dont tweet, I ride a Harley, hehehe

Guest said:

Yet, here you are

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

They seriously need to use individual users affected when sentencing people. So if you shut down Twitter, affecting hundreds of millions of people, you should be charged per person affected. And so after a few of these assholes see life in prison, people will stop doing it for lulz.

These stupid kids don't fear any consequences. They know that the worst thing that will happen to them is a few years in prison. Where they'll use their computer skills to obtain protection from being raped every day, and probably not have that bad of an experience (relatively speaking).

But if some of these kids spend 20 years in prison for a stupid DDoS attack, then maybe, the next guy will think twice about it. They're still all at level 1 of moral development, trying to appeal to any higher sensibilities is lost. The only thing that will work is fear of punishment.

Guest said:

This kind of thing is a fact of life - imprisoning people won't change it. The internet is what it is and there are state sponsored agencies also involved in this. Get over it.

Zoltan Head said:

That's right, it isn't possible to ever change or improve ANYTHING!

Guest said:

So if I get a large group of ppl to together and walk into a store and we all sit down in the doorway and at the counters and stop customers from entering as a form of protest we all should get jail terms based on each individual we have stopped from purchasing or entering the store?

Greta logic, seriously I don't like DDoS' etc either but removing forms of public protest by outlawing them is removing basic civil rights.

Guest said:

Protesting is naughty, and should be prevented.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

So if I get a large group of ppl to together and walk into a store and we all sit down in the doorway and at the counters and stop customers from entering as a form of protest we all should get jail terms based on each individual we have stopped from purchasing or entering the store?

Greta logic, seriously I don't like DDoS' etc either but removing forms of public protest by outlawing them is removing basic civil rights.

Implementing harsh penalties for these types of online activities isn't a violation of the right to protest. DDoS attacks and other hacktivist nonsense are not the same as a peaceful protest on a street corner somewhere. They are direct attacks on someone else's property geared towards sending a message with the threat of additional force (further attacks). As such, the hackers should be treated no differently than someone who firebombs a Starbucks for not being "green" enough. Wikipedia, Google, et al. blacking out their own websites in response to SOPA? That's legitimate protest. Forcefully stopping people from using Twitter because you don't like the admin's politics? That's criminal.

Also, your example of an effective protest is perfectly illustrative of gwailo247's point. Preventing customers from being able to shop at a store you and your comrades don't like is a complete alienation of their right to free choice for the sole purpose of promoting your own agenda. That, my friend, is both wrong and fantastically contrary to your objection.

Guest said:

If only they could hack all anti-social networks permanently I would nominate them for Nobel Prize.

Guest said:

Sure, lets throw in the hacktivists with the murderers and child molesters, 20+ years in prison... makes perfect sense. Why? Because I couldn't tweet for an hour. A whole hour! *gasp*

Then, as if not being able to let the world know when I'm in the toilet isn't a big enough slap in the face, lets compare that to... I don't know... firebombing a starbucks for not being green enough. Right.

LAME. Get over it, and move on with your lives.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

It isn't the inability to tweet for 40 minutes that's the issue. Frankly, if Twitter disappears tomorrow I could care less. It's hacktivists' consistent use of force to make their political statements and the notion that it's justifiable for them to meddle with other people's property for this purpose that's the issue. 20+ years in prison? Yeah, that's a bit much. But 5-10 plus financial damages? Absolutely.

As for my Starbucks argument... They're one in the same. Throwing a couple of molotovs into a Starbucks (one that's empty, anyways) is effectively the same as performing a DDoS attack on a website with millions of users, in that the store cannot generate revenues until the fire damage is fixed. Twitter generates revenue from advertisements. With over 100 million users a 40-minute shutdown results in thousands of dollars worth of lost revenue, since none of the ads placed on the website can be seen or clicked. DDoS, financially, is no different from property damage. It just takes place in cyberspace rather than on a street corner.

1 person liked this | Tygerstrike said:

@Davis

In one aspect I agree with you in that a molitov will close down a business untill it is repaired. However, IF this is a protest, who are the protesters. Like a previous post pointed out, if you went into a business and performed a "sit-in" protest. The business that it was being done to would have a legal avenue to persue. They could call the cops and have the protesters removed and arrested. a DDoS attack is an anonymous attack. Faceless and cowardly. Despite the fact that if they were responsible for it there isnt much that anyone can really do about it. So it no longer falls into the area of protest. It falls into the realm of cyber terrorism.

If this group is so set on "protesting" then they will put their names and addresses out there on the internet and identify themselves. Yeah they may be arrested, but they will have the opportunity to present their greivence in a court of law and in the press. ANYTHING else is simply just to cause trouble and make themselves feel special for inconvencing a small amout of ppl for 40 mins. Not much worse then standing in line at DMV really.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Tyger,

Spot on. I agree with pretty much all of what you just said, though I think the impact is more significant than your conclusion makes it out to be. Generally, the customers themselves are not greatly impacted by the attacks. It's the business that takes the real blow. We may just have to wait in line a little longer, but the guy running the operation gets screwed. Should they be apprehended, I think DDoS attackers should be held liable for any impact they have on that business. Enough so that some of these self-important cyber ninjas think twice about downing services just to make a statement, much like what would happen if you decided to ransack someone's coffee shop. Call it a "being special" tax. :P

My comments thus far have been geard towards the earlier guest comment asserting that stronger penalties for this type of nonsense somehow alienates the right to protest. However, as you point out, it's a bit of a stretch to call any of this legitimate protest.

Guest said:

Knee jerk reaction from ppl with vested interests is not a point of view it is a biased opinion, it is a decline in the way some segments of society deals with things they don't like.

Lets just charge them with homicide nd then call them terrorists and if anyone disagrees lets call them a terrorist also...

Seriously over reacting like this only shows your lack of judgement, no matter how well you can articulate it.

Tygerstrike said:

@Guest

Yes it may be a "Knee-jerk" reaction for some. Especially if they were one of the ppl who couldnt tweet something. However the argument itself is valid. The ppl performing DDoS attacks DO NOT face the consiquences that their actions cause. Anyone in the US can tell you if you rob a store and get caught you face prison time. Just because the business is online, doesnt make it legal for anyone to do DDoS attacks. There are reprecutions. That business lost revenue that is used to run their service, pay their employees, maintain equiptment, and pay stock holders. It is VERY similar to holding a gun to a merchants head, having customers see you holding a gun to the merchants head, and turning around and walking away. Thereby costing that merchant business that makes them money. The only difference is that it is being done online. From the safety of a basement somewhere.. So there is no recourse here. Thats why ppl get so upset. Individuals causing mischief and mayhem online, inconvenencing the customers who use the service, and no "Internet Police" to apprehend them and make them pay for the "crime" they have commited.

If groups like this continue these types of attacks, we will see more restrictions online, and possibly the feared "Internet Police" that take digital crimes and make you pay with real life time. I would really hope that we dont see it, but these ppl who do this type of stuff are only going to ruin it for everyone else.

Guest said:

"If groups like this continue these types of attacks, we will see more restrictions online, and possibly the feared "Internet Police" that take digital crimes and make you pay with real life time. I would really hope that we dont see it, but these ppl who do this type of stuff are only going to ruin it for everyone else."

Start posting on terrorist sites. Lots of em. If you get locked up, it could be no time at all or an indefinite amount of time before you see your friends and familiy again so... be sure to say what needs to be said to them first.

Guest said:

Download a few thousand songs and some movies too. back to back.

Guest said:

the group has Nazi in there title? Common people get with the program out with the old and in with the new, when it comes to naming your groups.

Tygerstrike said:

You may be correct in that instance. But what is being discussed is how the anonimity of the DDoS attacks will cause even more Laws to go into effect. A person posting on terrorist websites wants to be found, atleast by the ppl who run those types of sites. a person doing a DDoS attack is forcing other ppls computers to do their bidding. Quietly anf from the shadows. They dont want to be found.

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