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Cyber Attacks led to the shutdown of Twitter and other Websites in US East Coast

A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources

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A 3D printed Twitter logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code in this illustration taken March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration - RTSBS6D. VOA
Washington, October 22, 2016: Twitter and some other major websites were shut down on the US East Coast for several hours on Friday as anAmerican Internet service provider called Dyn and Amazon’s web services unit were hit by waves of cyber attacks.
Dyn, headquartered in New Hampshire, said in posts on its website that its Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure suffered a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack starting at 7:10 am EDT (4.40 pm Indian Standard Time), Xinhua news reported.

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A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources, and the company said the attack is “mainly impacting US East”.

About two hours later, Dyn said “services have been restored to normal”.

But it wasn’t over. The company confirmed that a secondDDoS attack took place at 11:52 am EDT (8.30 pm IST).

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“This DDoS attack may also be impacting Dyn Managed DNS advanced services with possible delays in monitoring,” it said.

In an update posted at about 2 pm (11:30 pm IST), Dyn said its engineers “continue to investigate and mitigate several attacks aimed against the Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure”.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a unit of Amazon.com that hosts many of the web’s popular destinations including Netflix, reported an attack that also affected people on the US East Coastaround the same time in the morning.

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“Between 4:31 am and 6:10 am PDT (5:00 pm and 6:40 pm IST), we experienced errors resolving the DNS hostnames used to access some AWS services in the US-EAST-1 Region,” the company said on its website.

But this issue has been resolved and the service is now operating normally, it noted.

Currently, it’s unknown who was behind the attacks.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the US Department of Homeland Security is monitoring this situation and will take a close look at it.

“But at this point, I don’t have any information to share about who may be responsible for that malicious activity,” Earnest told reporters. (IANS)

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Twitter Plans to Develop an Open and Decentralized Standard for Social Media

"New technologies have emerged to make a decentralized approach more viable. Blockchain points to a series of decentralized solutions for open and durable hosting, governance, and even monetization. Much work to be done, but the fundamentals are there," Dorsey added

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Business, Twitter, Invest, Investment, Start-up, Kochi
A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has announced that his company was funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media that would help better control abusive and misleading information on its platform.

The goal is to allow Twitter to access and contribute to a much larger corpus of public conversation, “focus our efforts on building open recommendation algorithms which promote healthy conversation, and will force us to be far more innovative than in the past”, Dorsey said in a tweet thread on Wednesday.

The project is called Bluesky and Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal will hire the team for the project.

“There are many challenges to make this work that Twitter would feel right becoming a client of this standard.

“Which is why the work must be done transparently in the open, not owned by any single private corporation, furthering the open & decentralized principles of the internet,” Dorsey said.

TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

Decentralized social networks already exist like Mastodon which is based on an open-source networking protocol called ActivityPub.

Dorsey said the team would not only develop a decentralized standard for social media but also build open community around it, inclusive of companies and organisations, researchers and civil society leaders.

Also Read: Facebook Loses its Place in Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work’ List

“This isn’t going to happen overnight. It will take many years to develop a sound, scalable, and usable decentralized standard for social media that paves the path to solving the challenges listed above.

“New technologies have emerged to make a decentralized approach more viable. Blockchain points to a series of decentralized solutions for open and durable hosting, governance, and even monetization. Much work to be done, but the fundamentals are there,” Dorsey added. (IANS)