The Whale is down
As an intern here at Seattle Weekly, I usually get to the office around 9 a.m., turn on my computer, open my e-mail, and log on to Hootsuite, the site we use to run our social media operation. This morning when I logged into Hootsuite and saw "Twitter API busy. Check Status," it left me in a state of flux. I thought to myself, "Without Twitter, what do I do now?"
The Whale is down
This was obvious simply by the fact that as soon as Twitter reopened operations, one of the top trending hashtags (just below #NBAFinals) was #WhileTwitterWasDown, which saw individuals share their stories of what occurred during the unexpected period of disconnectedness. Some common themes included folks constantly hitting refresh waiting for the site to come back, sitting on Facebook, or simply staring into space.
One post from @iansinkins sums up the situation for many:
Unfortunately it seems we're not out of the woods yet. Twitter is still on the fritz, intermittently going in and out of service. The reason for this is still kind of a mystery.
According to several news pieces including an article from CBS Atlanta 46's website, Internet hacking group UGNazi has taken responsibility for the downtime and intermittent interruptions, part of what the group describes as a "distributed denial of service attack."
As this UGNazi Twitter post below shows:
When taking a closer look at UGNazi's website, what's found can definitely be described as confusing. With the first line on the page reading "Welcome Nazis," along with a large sketch picture that clearly gives some resemblance to a young Hitler, it's tough to tell exactly what the group is hoping to accomplish. But when looking at the organization's list of targets and reasons, it becomes obvious that UGNazi is about taking down major sites, with an Internet hit list that includes Google, BP, Comcast, and other big names.
And it seems UGNazi has been pretty successful at wreaking havoc on Internet sites in the past. In a Chicago Tribune article today, the piece notes how the organization has taken down military, banking, and even some Google sites.
Twitter, however, made it clear the attack was not made by UGNazi ... sort of. In a CNET article that quotes a 12:17 p.m. tweet, the site blames this morning's issue on "a cascaded bug," in Twitter's "infrastructure components." The tweet is down now, though, and Twitter has not released any information on its status page other than:
Update: The issue is on-going and engineers are working to resolve it.
If UGNazi is/was actually behind this attack, it seems somewhat unplanned. When reviewing the list of targets the group had on its website, Twitter was not listed.
Unfortunately now it seems no matter what originally created the issue, UGNazi is determined to continue to disrupt service. As the CBS Atlanta 46 article notes:
Currently, Twitter is intermittently working - the attack is not over.
"They keep moving servers and we keep attacking it," Sweet said in an email.
The piece refers to hacker Hannah Sweet, who goes by Twitter handle @CosmoTheGod and is listed as Cosmo on the UGNazi website.
Hopefully the issue gets resolved quickly and doesn't worsen. If not, who knows what I will end up doing here.