Twitter, the micro-blogging site and social networking sites Facebook and Live Journal were down for two hours yesterday in a denial-of-service attack through 'botnets' affecting 300 million users globally.
Twitter was down for two hours leaving its 30 million users worldwide unable to send tweets. Facebook said that the service on its site was disrupted affecting its 250 million users, while Live Journal said that its 21 million users were cut off for an hour.
Denial-of-service attacks occur when hackers, through thousands of remote-controlled virus-infected PCs called "botnets" target a site.
However, this attack was in part not the traditional denial-of-service attack, but some industry experts say that users, who clicked on a link in e-mail spam messages, were re-routed to a well-known blogger called Cyxymu.
The attacks, which were targeted at multiple websites, were linked to accounts held by Cyxymu in order to gag his messages to the outside world.
Cyxymu has of late been taking up issues on the recent Russian conflict with Georgia, which has angered many Russian bloggers. It is highly possible that Russian hackers disrupted the site in order to silence Cyxymu.
Twitter, which attracted 44.5 million unique visitors worldwide in June said, ''Twitter has been working closely with other companies and services affected by what appears to be a single, massively coordinated attack. As to the motivation behind this event, we prefer not to speculate.