Recent Twitter DOS attack, problems and its impact on Tweed

August 9, 2009 Christian Sepulveda

As many of you know, on Thursday, Twitter was hit by a Denial of Service (DOS or DDOS) attack.

The attack and its resulting problems have continued to plague Twitter. Twitter has blogged a bit about this on their site. (More can be found here and here.)

Twitter clients, such as Tweed, use Twitter’s API to provide access to Twitter’s service. So when Twitter is unavailable, Tweed will not work.

Twitter, as a defensive measure to protect itself, has limited API access for third party clients.

Thus, clients like Tweed, are being affected by both Twitter’s availability and the API restrictions. Complicating matters, it seems that different clients have been affected differently. For example, UberTwitter has been hit particularly hard. So, at times Tweed has not been working while other Twitter clients have. (The reverse has also been true.)

During this time, we have had trouble getting our own tweets posted to tell Tweed users about the situation.

Tweed could do some things to increase its own robustness. For example, Tweed does not currently cache tweets or timelines. Also, the spinner on the initial loading scene is full screen, so when the Twitter API is unresponsive, Tweed hangs.

We will adding enhancements to make Tweed more reliable in such cases, though we also hope such changes won’t be necessary in the future.

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