EPIC FAIL WHALE TIME: Twitter suffers substantial outage due to DDoS attack (Updated)

[caption id="attachment_261" align="aligncenter" width="254" caption="photo credit: iStockPhoto.com"]photo credit:  iStockPhoto[/caption] This morning twitter suffered a substantial outage (still in progress as of this writing) due to a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack.  Source:  Twitter Blog Status

At first, Twitter couldn't figure out why they where down (see Mashable's post here), but later Twitter reported this on their Status blog:

"We are defending against a denial-of-service attack, and will update status again shortly.

Update: the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack."

Later around 11:00am EST, @Biz Stone of Twitter made this post on the Twitter Blog:

"Denial of Service Attack

On this otherwise happy Thursday morning, Twitter is the target of a denial of service attack. 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."

At 12:46pm EST, Twitter posted another update to their Status Blog:

"Update (9:46a) [12:46 pm EST]: As we recover, users will experience some longer load times and slowness. This includes timeouts to API clients. We’re working to get back to 100% as quickly as we can."

During the outage, twitter users immediately flocked to other social media sites like Facebook and FriendFeed to confirm the outage and discuss root causes, impacts and other web sites also being affected by the outage (e.g. other social media sites, twitter API clients, etc.).  Mashable even had a "twitter refugee" post on their Fan page - too funny!

Lots of users were frantically confirming their worst fears.  Off they went, checking the ever helpful web site http://istwitterdown.com, which lets you know if twitter is working or not.

Not surprisingly both Facebook and FriendFeed are quite buggy and slow this morning - undoubtedly due to tons of freaked out twitter users all discussing the epic twitter outage.  Can you say "snowball effect?" or #BlameDrewsCancer as a possible cause?  Of course, there's always the classic "blame Scoble" excuse too!  :)

There's a lively discussion I started over on FriendFeed (not the only one, I assure you!):   -- go check it out and jump right into the  conversation over on FriendFeed, which by the way, is rarely down!

If you’ve never used FriendFeed, it is a rather unique experience - not for the faint of heart.  FriendFeed is a social media content “aggregator” which allows you to setup your own profile and import all kinds of cool “feeds” (your other social sites) and of course “subscribe” (think follow) others as well, plus there’s tons of groups too - very cool service.  It’s a bit “noisy” on the conversation end.  FriendFeed can be a highly useful research tool or an incredibly huge time suck on the weekends - so now you’ve been warned!

Hopefully, twitter will resume back to normal service soon.  But this was quite a Social Media meltdown today.  The impacts will reach far and wide as folks wake up to realize that twitter is more than just a toy, it's a core communication tool and business marketing engine.  Twitter is the glue of social interaction for many users and rests at the core of the social media marketing strategy for thousands (possibly millions) of businesses worldwide.  Twitter needs to be rock solid and scalable for their own sustainability.

Update: At 12:50 pm EST:  Twitter.com is working again.  Let's hope the outage is over!

Update 2: Now, Facebook has reported they too have been subjected to a DDoS attack this morning, too! Somebody is working hard to take down the world's two largest social media sites - wow!

See Mashable's post with this quote from Facebook:

"According to a Facebook spokesperson “Earlier this morning, Facebook encountered network issues related to an apparent distributed denial of service attack, that resulted in degraded service for some users. No user data was at risk and we have restored full access to the site for most users. We’re continuing to monitor the situation to ensure that users have the fast and reliable experience they’ve come to expect from Facebook.”

st any connection between Twitter being... - Susan Beebe - FriendFeed http://friendfeed.com/susanbeebe/1c1b9b09/is-there-any-connection-been-twitter-being [more]