Twitter Won't Say if Hackers Caused Site Outage

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Although a hacker group called UGNazis is telling at least one news outlet that they caused the Twitter outage today, the @TwitterComs handle, which offers official statements for the company, has a different explanation: a "cascaded bug" in one of its infrastructure components. Twitter would not comment on the hacker claims. But in an e-mail to The Atlantic Wire, a spokesperson defined a cascaded bug "a bug that’s not confined to a particular software element, but one that 'cascades' into other parts of the system." (Seizing on the strange explanation and in the prankish spirit of Twitter, someone is already tweeting as @CascadedBug.) Those two things could be one and the same, as "cascaded bug" could be a euphemism for "hacker bug." (Update 4:49 p.m.: A Twitter spokesperson clarified to The Atlantic Wire that "a cascaded bug is not a euphemism. It is a bug that has an effect that isn’t confined to a particular software element; rather, its effect 'cascades' into other elements as well.") Twitter has remained ambiguous throughout this afternoon's outage. The Status site acknowledges the issues, yet it does not give any reasoning beyond that.

Hacker Hannah Sweet, however, claims on twitter and to CBS News Atlanta that her hacker group took the site down today. "We just #TangoDown'd for 40 minutes worldwide! #UGNazi," she tweeted, telling CBS's Cecilia Hanley the group hacked the site because of its support for CISPA. "They keep moving servers and we keep attacking it," she told Hanley, which aligns both with the spotty outages today and with Twitter's inconsistency. The site first said it had resolved the issue, later replacing it with the disclaimer that engineers were still working on it. Hackers, of course, have claimed credit for bringing down sites in the past, but until an official explanation of these supposed hacks can be pinpointed, that cascaded bug—whatever it is—is public enemy number one.

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