Cyber Attack Shuts Down Twitter, Slows Down Facebook

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Twitter is back up and running Thursday afternoon after an apparent hacker attack shut down the micro-blogging service and temporarily locked out millions of users from around the world.

The site was knocked offline for more than two hours before engineers at the California firm were able to get it back online. The outage began around 9 a.m.eastern standard time.

Twitter said in its status blog that it was, "defending against a denial-of-service-attack," in which hackers reportedly command a myriad of computers to a single site at the same time, preventing traffic from getting through.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said in an official company blog, "On this otherwise happy Thursday morning, Twitter is the target of a denial of service attack."

Stone goes on to say, "Attacks such as this are malicious efforts orchestrated to disrupt and make unavailable services such as online banks, credit card payment gateways, and in this case, Twitter for intended customers or users," he said.

Popular social networking site Facebook also had its share of problems Thursday. According to Facebook spokeswoman Brandee Barker, service was "degraded" by an early-morning distributed-denial-of-service-attack.

Barker made clear no user's data was at risk.

"We're continuing to monitor the situation to ensure that users have the fast and reliable experience they've come to expect from Facebook," said Barker.

Twitter and Facebook have reportedly teamed up with Google to investigate the attacks.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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