Hackers hijack Twitter traffic

Robert Clark
21 Dec 2009

Micro-blogging site Twitter was hacked and its traffic hijacked by activists from the “Iranian Cyber Army”, the company has confirmed.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said in a blog post that hackers had breached Twitter’s DNS settings between 9:46 p.m. PST and 11 p.m. PST Thursday (1.46pm-3pm HK/Sing time Friday).

Approximately 80% of traffic to Twitter.com had been redirected, he said.

The attackers replaced Twitter’s home page with a web site with a black background and a green flag, and a headline: “This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army.”

“The motive for this attack appears to have been focused on defacing our site, not aimed at users—we don't believe any accounts were compromised,” Stone said.

Tom Daly, CTO of Twitter’s hosting provider, Dyn, said it appeared that Twitter's DNS records had been changed to point visitors to a different IP address using the proper account credentials assigned to Twitter, the Washington Post said.

“Someone logged in who purported to be a legitimate user of their [DNS] platform account and started making changes,” Daly said. “It was not a failing on our systems whatsoever.”

There was no confirmation that the hackers had any links to Iran, WSJ said.

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