Twitter as DDoS Tool To Crash Websites – You’re Guilty!

by Klaus on March 4, 2010

in Twitter

If you’re a Twitter user and you follow one of the really big guys with like a million other followers, you could – without knowing it – actually be part of a DDoS attack. DDoS stands for “Distributed Denial of Service” and is used to describe what happens when a website receives so many requests that it just can’t keep up and eventually crashes.

While DDoS attacks are usually spoken of in a harmful way, like when hackers initiate them, you could actually be part of such an attack if you click on a link tweeted by a Twitter user with many followers, like Stephen Fry who has almost 1,400,000 Twitter followers.

Stephen Fry is a British actor by the way, in case you didn’t know. So when Fry tweets a link, he has almost 1.4 million users ready to click it. Of course not all of them clicks every time, but he is able to generate 3000 hits on most websites – per second.

Of course Stephen doesn’t intentionally want the websites to crash so he has begun warning the websites before he tweets a link.

If you’re up for it, the entire interview with Stephen Fry and .Net Magazine can be seen here.

Justine "iJustine" Ezarik

You can also follow @stephenfry if you like and become one of his many followers. Another popular Twitter user is Justine Ezarik at @ijustine with 1.1 million followers.

What about me, you ask? Well, I’m trying, not quite there yet. I’m closing in on 5000 followers though. So with the 2-400 followers I’m getting per day thanks to TweetAdder, it will take a while to rech a million followers 🙂 But if you follow me, then I’m one step closer: @techpatio.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom | Build That List March 4, 2010 at 23:42

300o clicks a second? That is insane! I wish I had that type of authority.
.-= Tom | Build That List´s last blog ..The 4 Reasons People Unsubscribe Mailing Lists =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio March 6, 2010 at 23:57

Just hang in there Tom, sooner or later, you’ll have built a list that can do that. And when you do, I hope you’ll send out my link just once 😀
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Comment Spam, She’s Back: Dr. Ann Voisin From Linda Christas College =-.

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chandan March 6, 2010 at 12:22

Oh, he have a huge number of followers, ofcourse he will get many clicks from twitter due to a big number of follower list.
.-= chandan´s last blog ..Few quality link can help you for get rank on search engine =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio March 6, 2010 at 23:57

Of course. So it’s a good thing that he sometimes warns the sites he’s going to link to, before he actually tweets the link.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Comment Spam, She’s Back: Dr. Ann Voisin From Linda Christas College =-.

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iPad Prices March 6, 2010 at 19:13

Oh my god how young does Stephen Fry look on that picture? I watch him on UK television every week and he hasnt looked that young for years!
.-= iPad Prices´s last blog ..iPad Price Comparison =-.

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Mike June 17, 2010 at 23:38

That’s classy that he is giving the websites a little warning before they get flooded with traffic, though really, services like Digg and Stumbleupon are closer to a DDos attack, because the traffic lasts for awhile, and it comes at random; twitter seems to be more of a 1 shot kill as usually a link is only posted once in someone’s feed.

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Thomas Retterbush August 28, 2010 at 11:47

So this is the how and why of the “Fail Whale”? I had an idea, but you pretty much cleared up the missing link.

Be careful in your quest for followers. Twitter just suspended my account with 14,000+ followers without notice, warning or reason. I had to pressure them to tell me why; because I tweeted to many links and not enough personal updates. Can you believe that? I did the math, and over 90% of Twitter users send nothing but links. I must have stepped on somebody’s toes over at Twitter. Because this is the second account of mine they have suspended. The first one had about 10,000 followers too!

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