The distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks that knocked out Twitter for hours and affected other sites like Facebook, Google's Blogger, and LiveJournal on Thursday continued all day Friday and may persist throughout the weekend.
"The DDoS attack is still ongoing, and the intensity has not decreased at all," wrote Chad Etzel, from Twitter's application development platform support team.
This means that Twitter will maintain a set of defensive measures that have allowed it to keep the site up but that also have affected the interaction of third-party applications with the site via its API (application programming interface). "At this point, removing any of those defenses is not an option," Etzel wrote.
The real bad news for developers of affected Twitter applications and for their users? Twitter has no idea when it will be able to switch its application platform back to normal. "There is no ETA on fixing any of this," Etzel wrote, adding that Twitter staff plans to work around the clock this weekend to deal with the DDOS attack.
"Things will continue to be rocky as long as this attack continues. They may get worse, they may get better. That should not be read as 'we don't care about fixing it' or 'we're not going to fix it until everything blows over' but instead as 'we can't promise when things will be back to normal, but in the meantime we are working on fixing ASAP,'" Etzel wrote.
Other Sites Struggle
As was the case on Thursday, Twitter wasn't the sole target of the DDOS attacks on Friday. Google's Blogger blog publishing service felt the sting of the attacks on Friday afternoon as well. "A small percentage of Blogger users have experienced error messages this afternoon as the result of what appears to be an ongoing distributed denial of service attack aimed at multiple services across the web," a Google spokesman said via e-mail.
"Google has a variety of systems in place to help counteract these types of attacks, and we believe the majority of affected users can now access their blogs. We're continuing to work to minimize the impact to affected Blogger users. No other Google products have been affected," the spokesman said on Friday afternoon.
Facebook, whose site experienced some performance problems on Thursday due to the attacks, acknowledged on Friday afternoon that the attacks had continued. "The requests from the botnet continue but we have been able to isolate them and provide normal levels of service to our legitimate users," a Facebook spokesman said via e-mail on Friday afternoon.
According to news reports and information from companies affected, the attacks appear directed at silencing a blogger in the country of Georgia who has been critical of Russia's actions and policies toward that neighboring country.