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Where Were You When Twitter When Down?

If you like to tweet, then you are probably aware that Twitter was inaccessible for several hours this morning, due to what the company’s CEO is calling, “…malicious efforts orchestrated to disrupt and make unavailable services such as such as online banks, credit card payment gateways, and in this case, Twitter…” He adds that they are currently defending against the attack and will later investigate into this disturbance in the force.

CNET reports that Facebook has confirmed that they were also dealing with a “denial of service” attack, and Gawker experienced server problems earlier this week. Daily Intel smells a rat. The San Francisco Chronicle is calling it a national security issue. So what actually happened? We’ll let CNET’s expert explain:

DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks typically come from a collection of compromised computers called a botnet, said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Internet security firm Sophos. The botnet computers can inundate a Web site’s servers with communication requests, legitimate or malformed to cause extra trouble.

Or, for those pop culture savants who are less technically-inclined, botnet = the Death Eaters, your computer = Hogwarts, and Twitter = Dumbledore. At least temporarily.

And for the non-converted who are rolling your eyes right now, check out PC World’s piece on Why This Twitter Outtage Matters. In short: “The outcry over the Twitter outage is indicative of just how far the social network has come in terms of overall reliability, and also illustrates just how many people depend on Twitter as a source of information, or entertainment, or communication.”