For about 40 minutes, millions of people who like to share every minutia of their lives (including this writer) felt lost because Twitter – as well as all the programs people use to access their Twitter accounts, such as Tweet Deck and HootSuite – went down.
And it still might be down.
The hacker group UGNazi has claimed responsibility for crashing the social media site. During the attack, anyone searching for Twitter in Google or Bing would not have been able to find the website – the internet did not recognize it as website that existed.
Hacker Hannah Sweet, known as “Cosmo” and @CosmoTheGod on Twitter, claimed in an email that UGNazi took Twitter down for 40 minutes worldwide with a “distributed denial of service” attack.
Twitter denied that the company was hacked in their @TwitterComms account.
“A cascaded bug has an effect that isn’t confined to a particular software element; its effect “cascades” into other elements as well,” the tweet said.
Currently, Twitter is intermittently working – the attack is not over.
“They keep moving servers and we keep attacking it,” Sweet said in an email.
Sweet also said that the group attacked Twitter because of the site’s support of Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that allows the federal government and private businesses to share information about possible cyber threats.
CISPA has been criticized for being too vague about defining what qualifies as a “cyber threat,” and for making it legal for the government to spy on the general public, not just suspected hackers.
The Twitter company blog (on Tumblr) issued this succinct update:
“Update: The issue is on-going and engineers are working to resolve it.”
A previous statement said:
“Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter. Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue.”
UGNazi said that the group is based in the U.S. and that “The FBI has been on our trail for awhile now.” Sweet also stated that the group has posted its real names on the UGNazi website.
“Those names are our real names, we are not scared of the law,” Sweet said.
According to the Targets section of the UGNazi website, the group also has hacked Google, the websites for Cloudfare, BP, Wound Warrior Project, Comcast, UFC, to name a few.
Of course, the hack occurred during the lunch hour in eastern and central time, so foodies weren’t able to share photos of their lunch and those younger than 40 actually had to talk to people in the room – or they just posted on Facebook.