Facebook and Twitter Attacks

By on August 10, 2009
submit to reddit

I wanted to alert you to the fact that there have been DDoS attacks on Twitter and Facebook late last week. You might have already read about this, but I wanted to provide you with some additional information, if you’re interested. On Thursday, Symantec confirmed with both Facebook and Twitter that they were under a [...]

I wanted to alert you to the fact that there have been DDoS attacks on Twitter and Facebook late last week. You might have already read about this, but I wanted to provide you with some additional information, if you’re interested.

On Thursday, Symantec confirmed with both Facebook and Twitter that they were under a DDoS attack and were in the midst of defending against it. Users visiting the Facebook and Twitter homepages may notice a slowdown in service, or they may not be able to gain access to the site at all.

It is not known at this time if malware is involved in carrying out this attack. Typically when a DDoS occurs, it is as a result of malware installed on a large number of end user machines being controlled remotely (i.e. in a botnet) to make repeated queries on a high profile website (the site under attack). Typically the site owner will work with their ISP to slow down the effect of the DDoS and eventually thwart the issue. However, Symantec Security Response is monitoring for any threats related to the DDoS attack.

As a precautionary measure, Symantec encourages all computer users to update their security software with the latest definitions, keep their computer systems clean and continue to use general best practices for staying safe online.

Symantec is continuing to monitor the situation. If you would like to speak with a Symantec Security Response researcher, please let me know. We have posted a blog for perspective on DDoS attacks from Marian Merritt. Below are a few more details and precautionary measures that users could take while on these websites:

-Users visiting impacted sites may notice that performance is significantly slowed or that they cannot access the sites at all. However, some users may not notice any significant changes to the performance of their computer if infected with the malware that is carrying out this attack.

-To lessen the likelihood of your computer being used in a DDoS attack, it’s critical to keep security protection up to date. For enterprises, securing all endpoints — from laptops to mobile devices – can lessen the impact of a DDoS attack. With the number of Botnets in the threat landscape for rent, unsecured endpoints have the potential to become part of the larger DDoS attack and can be used to participate in phishing attacks and spread spam and distribute malware.

-Computer users are encouraged not to visit sites that are rumored to be under a DDoS attack for the sole purpose of seeing what happens. The increase of traffic will only delay access to the Web site and will prolong the attack.

-To help stop this DDoS, Symantec encourages all computer users to update their security software with the latest definitions, keep their computer systems clean and continue to use general best practices for staying safe online. Best practices include not using “free” security scans that pop up on many websites. All too often these are fake, using scare tactics to get you to purchase their “full service.” Consumers should also regularly back up their computer and check bank and credit card accounts to ensure all of their transactions are legitimate.

If you have any further questions or would like any more information on the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.


About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

Comments
Most Read
Most Commented
Competitions
Win two Toshiba AT200 tablets

This festive season Toshiba has 2 tablets to giveaway.

Win an MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Motherboard

Thanks to MSI we have an great AMD FM2 motherboard to giveaway.

Win a Nokia Asha 311

Thanks to Nokia we have a great entry-level smartphone to giveaway.