Whenever social networks go down, even if we’re talking about a few minutes or several hours, everybody expects productivity to go up. Yesterday, as Twitter went down for two hours, users didn’t exactly go back to their chores, but moved to Facebook. Today, a Twitter executive explained what crashed the network.
Not necessarily as bad as having no Internet connection, the outage of a social network is usually perceived as the beginning of the apocalypse. For those users that spend more than half of their time tweeting and hitting the “like” button on Facebook, social network outages are just as bad as not being connected to the Internet.
Yesterday, Twitter’s two-hour outage created panic on the Internet, but soon after users got the news, they redirected their browsing towards Facebook. The network was unavailable throughout all devices and platforms. Meanwhile, Twitter spokeswoman told the press “engineers are currently working to resolve the issue”. Twitter was out starting 8.30 a.m (1530 GMT) and 10.00 a.m. (1700 GMT).
Several media sources received yesterday after the Twitter outage was fixed an email from the Underground Nazi Hacktivist Group (UGNazi) which was claiming responsibility for the crash. “Twitter supports the CISPA bill and we wanted to show what we really are capable of” read the email. CISPA stands for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act which would give the government access to a lot more information about users.
Last night, a Twitter executive posted a blog post explaining what crashed their network. President of Engineering, Mazen Rawashdeh, explained a cascade bug wrecked havoc through their system. Rawashdeh also dismissed rumors saying Twitter crashed over a hacking, Euro 2012 or even the GIF avatars.
Twitter’s President of Engineering explained the bug that cascaded through their network can significantly impact all users, worldwide. “As soon as we discovered it, we took corrective actions, which included rolling back to a previous stable version of Twitter” read his blog post.
Security analyst Lawrence Pingree with Gartner believes that even if UGNazi launched an attack on Twitter, it wouldn’t have been strong enough to cause an outage.