Reuters) – Two service outages within the course of several hours rocked microblogging platform Twitter on Thursday, as users worldwide reported significant down-time and slow service across both Twitter’s website and mobile applications.
Amid speculation that Twitter had been crippled by a hacker attack, the San Francisco-based company blamed the outage – one of its most severe episodes in recent months – on a “cascading bug” in one of its infrastructure components.
“One of the characteristics of such a bug is that it can have a significant impact on all users, worldwide, which was the case today,” Mazen Rawashdeh, a Twitter vice president of engineering, wrote in a blog post on Thursday afternoon, after normal service resumed.
“We are currently conducting a comprehensive review to ensure that we can avoid this chain of events in the future,” he added.
Twitter’s statements came after UgNazi – an emerging hacker outfit that recently gained publicity for breaking into Cloudflare chief executive Matthew Prince’s personal Google email account – claimed credit for the service disruption in an email to Reuters, saying it launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against Twitter because of the company’s support for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
One security professional said the group probably used a DDoS-for-hire site to launch an attack against Twitter on Thursday, but downplayed the likelihood the group was solely responsible for bringing down the social media network.