07 August 2009 | 6,186 views

Twitter & Facebook Taken Offline By DDoS Attacks

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Both Facebook and Twitter were hit with pretty severe DDoS attacks rendering them useless and unavailable to the majority of users.

The thing is it seems like it wasn’t a traditional network based botnet style DDoS attack, but a ‘joejob‘ attack where spam is sent out containing a link and the users clicking on the link contribute to the site becoming overwhelmed with requests.

The DoS attack has been confirmed on the Twitter Status page here – Ongoing denial-of-service attack.

The attack theory comes from Bill Woodcock, as reported by The Register.

Users looking to update their Twitter feeds or Facebook pages were likely disappointed Thursday morning, as a denial-of-service attack made both services hard to reach.

Around 9 a.m. Eastern Time, the number of responses from micro-blogging service Twitter fell precipitously, reaching a bandwidth of 60 Mbps by 10:40 a.m. ET, according to Arbor Networks, a networking services firm. Twitter had reached nearly 200 Mbps prior to the drop.

The service continued to be impacted Thursday afternoon, reaching a peak of 150 Mbps, about half of its normal peak for that time of day, according to Arbor.

It seems to be a politically motivated attack aimed at a certain anti-Russian blogger known as Cyxymu.

It targeted all web properties where had profiles, the main ones of course being Facebook and Twitter but also included Livejournal (where he hosts his blog) and his Youtube account.

It’s a simple but seemingly very successful method of attack, shown by the fact that it took out a couple of major sites which already manage large amounts of traffic.

Users also complained of issues accessing Facebook. The service confirmed midday on Thursday that, it too, had suffered a denial-of-service attack.

“You may have had trouble accessing Facebook earlier today because of network issues related to an apparent distributed denial-of-service attack,” the social network stated on its own Facebook page. “We have restored full access for most people. We’ll keep monitoring the situation to make sure you have the reliable experience you expect from us.”

You might have noticed a lot of failed requests if you use Facebook (JavaScript timeout errors and network pipe errors).

Facebook fell because of the same targetted attack on Cyxymu, they acknowledged such on their Facebook page.

Source: Security Focus



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3 Responses to “Twitter & Facebook Taken Offline By DDoS Attacks”

  1. Chris 8 August 2009 at 9:35 am Permalink

    Twitter, Facebook, AND Livejournal down? This can only lead to dangerous outbreaks of real life…

  2. Droope 8 August 2009 at 8:33 pm Permalink

    Shit!! taking down fackebook and twitter to attack just one user :| what an amazing display of power.

    Of course, many could’ve done that, if properly motivated.

    Cheers!

  3. GZero 10 August 2009 at 10:52 am Permalink

    Do we know what sort of DDoS this was?

    Basic SYN flood?
    ACK?
    Any further details?