Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

BoomTown Decodes Twitter’s Denial-of-Service Blog Post (So You Don’t Have To)


This morning, in a blog post titled “The Adventure Continues,” Twitter co-founder Biz Stone gave more of an explanation for the outage that the microblogging service endured due to a denial-of-service attack yesterday.

Fortunately, BoomTown can read between the lines in order to decipher the secret message herein!

Biz wrote: The Adventure Continues.

Translation: By “adventure,” I mean yet-another-friggin’-Twitter-birdie-crisis.


Considering all the fail whales, the stolen documents and now this, I would have to say we have now taken Time Warner (TWX) online unit AOL’s title as Internet company most likely to experience technical difficulties. Do not adjust your screens! Please stand by!

Biz wrote: In the past 24 hours, we’ve been contending with a variety of attacks that continue to change in nature and intensity. We’re working to restore access to apps built on the Twitter platform that were affected by defensive measures–there was some overcompensation on our part as we tune our system to deal with this scale of attack.

Translation: We’d like to blame this one on TechCrunch somehow, and are hard at work on another impolitic internal memo about how to do so that also manages to insult potential acquirers, such as Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), and our investors.

The reason we doused this crisis with extra amounts of weed killer is because no one will be able to accuse us of sitting by in our usual chill manner, which is exemplified by the official Twitter company motto: “Scoble dude, relax, it’s only 140 characters.”


Biz wrote: The ongoing, massively coordinated attacks on Twitter this week appear to have been geopolitical in motivation. However, we don’t feel it’s appropriate to engage in speculative discussion about these motivations. The open exchange of information can have a positive impact globally and our job is to keep Twitter services running reliably to the best of our ability.

Translation: And if blaming TechCrunch does not work, there is always Iran to point the finger at!

However, we don’t feel it’s appropriate to engage in speculative discussion of these motivations–mostly because it will just piss off the hackers more and they will crush our little technical operation like it is papier maché.

Which, let’s be honest, it is. Anybody got any spare Elmer’s Glue?

Biz wrote: As a reminder, no data or personal information of any kind has been compromised. Denial of Service attacks are a known quantity on the web and they are not going away any time soon. Nevertheless, we can and will improve system response to these assaults such that they don’t interfere with our normal, everyday Twittering.

Translation: No data or personal information of any kind have been compromised, except–of course–for Ashton Kuchter’s.

But, to be fair, that dude overshares like Perez and Paris Hilton combined and on steroids.


Not that we mind him tweeting pictures of his wife’s posterior, but he makes John Mayer seem shy.

Denial-of-service attacks are a known quantity on the Web, much the way our fail whale is.

Nevertheless, we can and will fail again, so there will be yet another spate of articles and blog posts about the indignity of life without Twittering to show just how indispensable we are.