Twitter, Facebook Investigating Service Disruptions

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone confirmed in his blog that the social media site had been hit by a denial-of-service attack that knocked it offline for nearly two hours during the morning of Aug. 6. There were also online reports that Facebook was hit by a denial of service attack. However, Facebook officials would only say the company was investigating the reports and would update users as soon as possible. Both sites appeared to be operating normally by around noon EDT.

Twitter is in the midst of defending itself against an ongoing denial-of-service attack, the micro-blogging service reported this morning.

Few details have been released so far about the attack. The company, however, confirmed the attack today in a blog post, and noted that even though the site is back up, officials are still working to recover and defend against the attack.

"On this otherwise happy Thursday morning, Twitter is the target of a denial of service attack," blogged Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. "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. We are defending against this attack now and will continue to update our status blog as we continue to defend and later investigate."

There were also reports that Facebook was attacked as well, though officials there have not confirmed the attack. Facebook spokesperson Malorie Lucich said the company was investigating the reports and would update users as soon as possible.

"Earlier this morning, we encountered issues within our network that resulted in a short period of degraded site experience for some visitors," she said. "No user data was at risk and the matter is now resolved for the majority of users. We're monitoring the situation to ensure that users continue to have the fast and reliable experience they've come to expect from Facebook."

Ray Dickenson, CTOat security firm Authentium, noted that many denial-of-service attacks are launched from botnets.

"Twitter is such a high profile site, it may be just a bot-herder or one of their customers wanting to show off the power of their botnet," he said.