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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
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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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U.S. Library of Congress will not collect every tweet on twitter

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FILE - The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017
U.S. Library of Congress will not collect every tweet on twitter. VOA

US, Dec 31, 2017: The U.S. Library of Congress says it will no longer collect every single tweet published on Twitter as it has been doing for the past 12 years.

The library said this week that it can no longer collect everything across the entire social media platform because of recent changes Twitter has made, including allowing longer tweets, photos and videos.

It said in a blog post this week that its first objective with collecting and archiving tweets was “to document the emergence of online social media for future generations.” The library says it has fulfilled that objective and no longer needs to be a “comprehensive” collector of tweets.

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, the Library of Congress is seen in Washington.
FILE – In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, the Library of Congress is seen in Washington. VOA

The Library of Congress said it will still collect and archive tweets in the future, but will do so on a more selective basis. It said going forward “the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy.”

The library said it generally does not collect media comprehensively, but said it made an exception for public tweets when the social media platform was first developed.

The library said it will keep its previous archive of tweets from 2006-2017 to help people understand the rise of social media and to offer insight into the public mood during that time. “Throughout its history, the Library has seized opportunities to collect snapshots of unique moments in human history and preserve them for future generations,” it said.

“The Twitter Archive may prove to be one of this generation’s most significant legacies to future generations. Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation,” it said. (VOA)