Report: Security Breach Behind Twitter Outage Did Not Originate with New Hampshire DNS Provider

12/18/09Follow @wroush

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other account, York said. “At no time was DNS not resolving on the global network. This was an isolated incident just to Twitter, not a problem that affected any other Dyn users.”

Stylefeeder’s Jacob said he wasn’t satisfied after reading media accounts of the outage this morning. “I saw this news this morning, and I was like,’Whoa, what’s up with that?,’ because Stylefeeder uses Dynect [Dyn's DNS platform] and obviously, since this is the holiday shopping season, something like that happening to us would not be favorable,” Jacob says. “I immediately contacted [Dyn], and they provided me with extra information that is not publicly available, because I am a Dynect customer. And without violating other clients’ confidentiality, they gave me some extra insight into what occurred, which to my mind, put to rest that the problem lay not with Dynect but elsewhere—but not necessarily with Twitter.”

“I don’t think that this story is being well told,” Jacob continues. “The press today is basically saying that Twitter had a DNS problem, and here is their DNS provider, so it’s their fault. And that is not actually the case.”

Jacob said he has no information about the exact chain of events that led to the compromise. But he suggested that it might be the result of lax security standards at Twitter, perhaps a holdover from the young company’s early days as a startup undergoing rapid growth.

“While I understand that it’s hard for a growing organization to make sure their systems are secured properly, I think that Twitter is at the point now of being a top-10 website, where they ought to be able to avoid problems like this, especially given the resources they have,” Jacob said.

At the same time, he said, “I would feel strongly about noting that the people who are running Twitter now are very capable, and this is unfortunately just one of those holes that they probably didn’t yet get around to fixing.”

A spokesperson for Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wade Roush is Xconomy's chief correspondent and editor of Xconomy San Francisco. You can subscribe to his Google Group or e-mail him at wroush@xconomy.com. Follow @wroush

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