We’ve received multiple tips right around 10 pm that Twitter was hacked and defaced with the message below. The site was offline for a while.
We’re looking into this and awaiting on a response from Twitter.
The message read:
Iranian Cyber Army
THIS SITE HAS BEEN HACKED BY IRANIAN CYBER ARMY
U.S.A. Think They Controlling And Managing Internet By Their Access, But THey Don’t, We Control And Manage Internet By Our Power, So Do Not Try To Stimulation Iranian Peoples To….
NOW WHICH COUNTRY IN EMBARGO LIST? IRAN? USA?
WE PUSH THEM IN EMBARGO LIST
Update: – We have just found out that the same defacement is appearing at at least one other site, mawjcamp.org. We are not able to see what was at this domain before, but it is now displaying the same defacement that Twitter was only a few minutes ago.
Twitter does not have the best record with security issues. We have previously covered a number of incidents, and as recently as two months ago their web servers were misconfigured to reveal detailed internal network information. We also previously wrote about their admin interface having a password of ‘password’ on one account, and the well-known Twitter doc incident. It was hoped that with the hiring of a new COO, Dick Costolo, as well as a number of other high-level engineers, including security experts, that Twitter had grown out of the phase of being vulnerable to security incidents on such a large scale.
We do not know a lot about the group claiming responsibility for the attack as we haven’t heard their name before and they do not show up in any defacement mirrors or security sites. Similar Iranian groups were active during the election campaign in that country. We have emailed the group (they were kind enough to leave an address on the defacement) for a comment (also added them on Gchat – worth a shot).
Update 2.: Twitter.com is down, status.twitter.com is down. Some tweets are getting through at the moment because parts of the API are up. Search also seems to be working. The Firehose is up – Tweets are coming in from FriendFeed (all those tweets about ‘is twitter down’ are from third-party sites)
Update 3.: It is suggested that if you use the same password on your Twitter account with other accounts, now would be a good time to change your password on those other accounts.
Update 4.: There is a history between Iran and Twitter. It was well noted and covered in the media that Twitter was used as a tool during the Iranian election protests. The US government actually intervened to assure that Twitter was available to the protestors in Tehran and around the country. This attack may be an act of reprisal from groups who were not happy with the role that Twitter played during the protests.
Update 5.: There is speculation at the moment that this may be a DNS redirect, which means that the Twitter.com domain has been redirected to the defacement page. This doesn’t explain why some sub-domains are down, while others are currently still alive (such as search)
Update 6.: Twitter.com is back. The company updated its status blog saying: “Twitter’s DNS records were temporarily compromised but have now been fixed. We are looking into the underlying cause and will update with more information soon.”
Update 8.: Google was showing the below briefly when doing a search for Twitter (thanks Chris). The translation from Farsi/Persian reads:
“In the name of God, As an Iranian this is a reaction to Twitter’s interference sly which was U.S. authorities ordered in the internal affairs of my country…”
Update 9.: Biz Stone blogged:
As we tweeted a bit ago, Twitter’s DNS records were temporarily compromised tonight but have now been fixed. As some noticed, Twitter.com was redirected for a while but API and platform applications were working. We will update with more information and details once we’ve investigated more fully.
As will we.
Update 10.: Video (thanks @orli):