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Twitter blames bug, not hackers, for prolonged Thursday downtime

One News Page Staff
Friday, 22 June 2012

Twitter blames bug, not hackers, for prolonged Thursday downtimeby

Popular micro-blogging site Twitter has blamed a "cascading bug" for causing prolonged outages on Thursday, dismissing reports it had been hacked

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Micro-blogging website Twitter has said it suffered more than two hours' downtime on Thursday due to a "cascading bug" rendering the popular service inaccessible for all users around the world.

The outage, which took the popular social service down between 9.00am and 11.08am PDT on Thursday, was confirmed by Twitter's VP of Engineering, Mazen Rawashdeh.

Apologizing for the disruption in a company blog post, Rawashdesh said the outage was due to a cascading bug "with an effect that isn't confined to a particular software element, but rather its effect “cascades” into other elements as well".

Rawashdeh's clarification that the outage was not caused by a hack contradicted claims by hacktivist group UGNazi that they had taken down Twitter using a "distributed denial of service" attack.

According to reports by CNET, the group said it targeted Twitter because of the company's support for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that would allow the federal government to monitor users' online activity to investigate and stop cyber attacks.

Thursday's outage has left a fresh dent in Twitter's fragile corporate reputation as the company has been under pressure to demonstrate a viable business model and has invested in improving its service reliability in recent months.

To date, that investment has resulted in better service stability, according to Rawashdesh: "For the past six months, we've enjoyed our highest marks for site reliability and stability ever: at least 99.96% and often 99.99%," he wrote.

"In simpler terms, this means that in an average 24-hour period, twitter.com has been stable and available to everyone for roughly 23 hours, 59 minutes and 40-ish seconds.

"Not today though."

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Source: KAAL-TV ABC Rochester, MN - on June 14, 2012

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