Twitter Cofounder: "Attack" Shuts Down Tweets

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Aug 6, 2009  |  Updated 11:12 AM PDT
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Christian Abraham

Christian Abraham/Staff photographer Associate Professor of Journalism, Rich Hanley, "twitters" on his computer in his office at the School of Communication at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT on Wednesday July 08, 2009.

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Has productivity increased at your office today?  Want to know why? Twitter went down.  It was able to limp back to life by the afternoon, but morning Tweets weren't possible.

And that includes tweeting the fact that Twitter suffered an outage.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told CNBC's Julie Boorstin the failure was due to a "malicious" attack.

"We are currently defending against a Denial of Service attack on this otherwise happy Thursday morning. 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. As I said, we are defending against this attack now and we'll continue to update our status blog as we continue to defend and later investigate," Stone said.

Allison Koski, a public-relations manager in Manhattan, said she felt "completely lost" without Twitter.

 "I had to Google search Twitter to find out what was going on, when normally my Twitter feed gives me all the breaking news I need," Koski said.

The site stopped working around 6 a.m. Pacific time on Thursday.

The San Francisco-based company says in its status blog it is determining the cause.

Technology business analyst Shelly Palmer told AP Radio that denial-of-service attacks are a reality of the information age.

 "People tend to want to take sites that are very public and go after them," said Palmer, managing director of Advanced Media Ventures Group. "In fact you'd be surprised how many sites for major companies are really attacked on a daily basis. This is a crime, it's a real crime and it should be treated that way."

A couple of years ago Twitter failed frequently due to the inadequacies of its own software, but it's since gotten past most of those problems. So far this year, unplanned downtime has been rare, so today's outage is considered unusual. 

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