Twitter attack aimed at Georgian blogger

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

San Francisco (CA) - Twitter has confirmed that a recent wave of fatal DDoS attacks were 'geopolitical in motivation.' However, the company refused to engage in 'speculative discussion' about the massive cyber offensive.

"The open exchange of information can have a positive impact globally and our job is to keep Twitter services running reliably to the best of our ability," the popular social networking site explained in an official blog post. "In the past 24 hours, we've been contending with a variety of attacks that continue to change in nature and intensity. We're working to restore access to apps built on the Twitter platform that were affected by defensive measures—there was some overcompensation on our part as we tune our system to deal with this scale of attack."

Twitter also reiterated that no data or personal information of any kind was compromised during the above-mentioned incidents.

"Nevertheless, we can and will improve system response to these assaults such that they don't interfere with our normal, everyday Twittering," the company added.

Twitter DDoS attacks

Although Twitter has refused to speculate about the DDoS's origins, a Georgian blogger known as Cyxymu told The Guardian that the Kremlin was responsible for the attacks.

According to Cyxymu, a DDoS strike that targeted LiveJournal, Facebook and Twitter "stemmed from an attempt" to silence his criticism over Russia's wartime actions in Georgia's South Ossetia region.

"Maybe it was carried out by ordinary hackers but I'm certain the order came from the Russian government. An attack on such a scale that affected three worldwide services with numerous servers could only be organised by someone with huge resources," said Cyxymu.


"It started when hundreds of thousands of spam emails supposedly from me were sent all over the world suggesting for people to visit one of my blogs. So thousands of people visited it causing it to freeze, and they [LiveJournal] had to block it again. Then the same thing happened with Facebook and Twitter."

Max Kelly - Facebook's chief security officer - has confirmed Cyxymu's account of events.

"It was a simultaneous attack across a number of properties targeting him to keep his voice from being heard," said Kelly.