Security Corner

Aug 11 2009   2:22AM GMT

Twitter Attack: Whodunit and How? Whonose?



Posted by: Ken Harthun
Tags:
Attack Surface
DDoS
Denial of Service
Security
Twitter Attack

Speculation abounds over who was responsible for the DDoS attacks that affected Twitter–and to a lesser degree, Facebook and LiveJournal–this past Thursday.

Various sources, including CNN and CNet, suggest that a Georgian blogger with accounts under the name “Cyxymu” (a town in the Republic of Georgia) on the services was targeted. The date of the attack coincides with the one year anniversary of the Russia-Georgia conflict.

Other sources, including The Register suggest that a JoeJob was the main source of the attack.  Joejobs are spam messages designed to induce someone to click on a link in the hopes that enough people will do so, thereby harming the site being linked to.

Still others blame a conventional DDoS attack using botnets, but Arbor Networks‘ analysis actually shows a drop in traffic volume hitting Twitter during the alleged DDoS attack, leaving doubt that this method was used.

I’ve also seen reports blaming hackers angry at Twitter for becoming more popular than IRC, a vigilante trying to point up the danger of botnets, and cyber-terrorists.

Seems no one really knows for sure at this point.

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