A hacker attack today shut down the fast-growing messaging service Twitter, and Facebook also said it was looking into possible site problems.
Twitter said in its status blog today that it was “defending against a denial-of-service attack,” in which hackers command scores of computers to a single site at the same time, preventing legitimate traffic from getting through.
For Twitter users, the outage meant no tweeting about lunch plans, the weather or the fact that Twitter is down.
The Twitter outage began at about 9 am (1830 IST), said Ken Godskind, chief strategy officer at Web performance monitoring company AlertSite.
The site still had lingering access problems midday, though both Twitter and Facebook seemed to be functioning at least intermittently, giving cubicle-bound social media addicts a collective sigh of relief.
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.
Incidentally, Facebook also seemed to be experiencing problems. Company spokeswoman Brandee Barker said the company was looking into it and would have an update “as soon as possible.”