Many people were asking, "Why Is Twitter down?" This is a question many people were asking early this morning when Twitter, Amazon, Spotify, the Boston Globe and countless other highly trafficked websites went down. At this time, Twitter is starting to come back up in United States, but the attack was particularity felt along the East and West Coast. The cause seems to be a massive denial-of-service –DoS – attack, according to security experts.As reported by Cox Media, there was an initial DoS attack early Friday morning, affecting the eastern United States first, with the West Coast only being affected later as people began to wake up in California. In this initial attack, major corporate websites were overwhelmed and unable to respond to legitimate users.
According to CBS News, a few hours after people started typing in "is Twitter down" on search engines, it popped back up for a short time. Then approximately 3 hours later Twitter – and many other sites – went down a second time as another DoS attack was launched against these sites.According to many security experts, it is likely that someone outside the United States is attempting to test security measures around the Internet infrastructure inside the United States. Such testing would seem to suggest planning for the future goal of a much more substantial attack at a later date.
Those who ask why is Twitter down – along with all the other sites – will have a host of possible suspects to look at for this DoS attack. Assuming that a foreign power is behind these attacks – which is likely enough, the United States and the rest of the world have already experienced such web attacks by other hostile countries before. Perhaps this is a North Korea October surprise.Over the last few years, North Korea has become synonymous with such cyber attacks. One of the most infamous of all cyber incursions was North Korea's break-in at the Sony Corporation, in which company emails and other private information was released to the public in order to damage the company.
North Korea largely did this because the Sony Corporation had been planning to release a comedy film describing an imaginary plot in which North Korea's leader was to be assassinated. North Korea essentially blackmailed Sony Corporation into initially pulling the film, although it was later released to the public on a limited basis after considerable public outcry in the United States and criticism of Sony by Pres. Obama.Another prime suspect in this present attack – and perhaps the principal suspect given their recent activities with Hillary Clinton emails – is Russia. The Russians in recent months have greatly expanded their cyber warfare activities, proudly boasting about their ability to gather information from Western computers for their own purposes.
But some security experts suspect that in this particular instance, it is the whole Internet security infrastructure in the United States that is being tested – perhaps by the Russians – in order to see how vulnerable it is to an even more massive attack at some later date.
Presumably, if the Russians under Vladimir Putin wanted to interfere with United States Internet access for some period of time, it would likely be related to other goals and activities they would be carrying on at the same time.
In other words, if the Russians want to be able to interfere with Internet access in our country, it's probably in preparation for the possibility of a future conflict between our two countries. So the question "is Twitter down" suddenly expands to much greater importance if Russian intelligence and military officers are behind this DoS attack.
[Featured Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]