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Twitter Outage Traced to Attack on Georgian Blogger

A blogger from the republic of Georgia who uses the account name Cyxymu, a town in Georgia, was the apparent target of the denial-of-service attack that virtually crippled Twitter Thursday and affected Facebook and LiveJournal, Facebook chief security officer Max Kelly told CNET News.

Cyxymu has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal and Google’s Blogger and YouTube, CNET reported.

A cached version of Cyxymu’s LiveJournal page contained a message about the DoS attacks and said in Russian, “Now it’s obvious it’s a special attack against me and Georgians,” according to CNET.

Packet Clearing House research director Bill Woodcock told The New York Times millions of spam messages were sent at about 10:30 a.m. ET Thursday containing links to Twitter and other sites, and when recipients clicked on the links, those sites were overwhelmed with requests to access their servers, adding, “It’s a vast increase in traffic that creates the denial of service.”

And Kaspersky Lab malware researcher Stefan Tanase told the Times:

It’s unusual to see an attack on a site lasting that long. Generally there are procedures in place in case of such an attack, but unfortunately, Twitter has a long history of security-related issues, and this really shows that they are not very mature in this area yet.


Kelly told CNET:

It was a simultaneous attack across a number of properties targeting him to keep his voice from being heard. We’re actively investigating the source of the attacks, and we hope to be able to find out the individuals involved in the back end and to take action against them, if we can.

You have to ask who would benefit the most from doing this and think about what those people are doing and the disregard for the rest of the users and the Internet.

The people who are coordinating this attack, the criminals, are definitely determined and using a lot of resources. If they’re asking our infrastructure to generate hundreds of pages a second, that’s a lot of pages our users can’t see.

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