Twitter Crashes Twice: 'UGNazi' DDoS Hack to Blame?

Dennis Faas's picture

Hackers have claimed responsibility for an attack that sent social networking site Twitter crashing twice on Thursday, June 21, 2012. The hacking group UGNazi told CBS Atlanta that it was behind Twitter's forced outage.

Whatever the source, the attacks took Twitter offline twice between 9 AM and 11 AM, US Pacific Time (PT). The site was restored to full functionality within an hour after the first attack, but then failed a second time.

When down, Twitter was entirely unavailable across all platforms, including mobile apps.

Twitter Blames Internal Error for Outage

Initially, Twitter said the outage was not in any way caused by an attack, but was merely an internal problem.

"Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter," site representatives announced at 10:57am. "The issue is on-going and engineers are working to resolve it."

"Today's outage is due to a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components," Twitter representatives elaborated, just after noon, PT. "We'll provide updated information soon." (Source:

Twitter services remained spotty throughout the afternoon.

Hacking Group Claims it Used DDoS Attack to Diable Site

Before Twitter could offer any updates to the ongoing service situation, UGNazi came out to claim responsibility for the hack.

Another hacker, known as both Hannah Sweet and "Cosmo," added that UGNazi had used a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to disable Twitter.

DDoS attacks involve bombarding a site with enough requests for data to overload the system's ability to comply with any requests, thus forcing it offline.

According to Sweet, UGNazi initiated the attack because Twitter supports the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. This is legislation intended to encourage the sharing of information between federal officials and private firms, in an effort to more effectively combat cybercrime.

"Twitter supports the CISPA bill and we wanted to show what we really are capable of," UGNazi told Computerworld. (Source:

It's still not 100 per cent clear if UGNazi was actually or solely responsible for the problem. So far, Twitter does not appear ready to admit its service issues were caused by outside interference.

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