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Twitter Hacked by “Iran Cyber Army?”

December 18, 2009

Could Iran shut down Twitter?

Could Iran shut down Twitter?

I JUST got the news from a Facebook friend this morning— Twitter was hacked by a so-called ‘Iranian Cyber Army.’ I checked my wordpress account and found out that my Twitter account failed to load. I linked my Twitter account to my blog only a few days ago and I am now disappointed to know that it is vulnerable to hackers. I also found out that Twitter’s status blog, which is hosted on Tumblr, failed to load. The hackers, according to a number of bloggers, have also taken over several sites and hacked pages invite mails to a Gmail account with the subject line “Mowjcamp”.

Twitter’s homepage has been replaced by the photo above showing the Iranian flag. Their message states: “THIS SITE HAS BEEN HACKED BY IRANIAN CYBER ARMY.” It goes on to boast:

“USA 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 People to. NOW WHICH COUNTRY IN EMBARGO LIST? IRAN? USA? WE PUSH THEM IN EMBARGO LIST. Take Care.”

So what’s the impact of this hacking incident on account users, as well as the business industry? Surely this will negatively affect the confidence of account users and businesses that use and depend on the platform. As of this writing, I am waiting for any development and curious to see how long Twitter stays down.

I observed that this incident rocked the cyber community, as it has become the main subject of a number of forums. Some forumers couldn’t help but recall the ongoing political crisis in Iran due to the alleged election cheating in June this year.

But here’s a question that boggled my mind: “Could Iran hack or shut down Twitter?” Do people in Iran have the technical capacity to infiltrate or access Internet sites like Twitter or Facebook? This is an interesting question raised in a website called “The Future of the Internet.” Here’s part of the article:

“So it’d be trivial for the Iranian government to block access to Twitter as it could to any particular Web site, and it could even block access to some Twitter users’ feeds there while leaving others open, by simply configuring its filters to allow some Twitter urls through while filtering others.  But Twitter isn’t just any particular Web site.  It’s an atom designed to be built into other molecules.  More than most, Twitter allows multiple paths in and out for data.  Its open APIs make it trivially easy for any other Web service provider to insert a stream of tweets in or to capture what comes out.  Thus Twitterfall can provide a waterfall of tweets — all viewable by going there instead of to Twitter.  Anyone using at Twitterfall can tweet from there as well.  You can hook up your Facebook status in either direction, so that when you tweet it automatically updates your Facebook status — or the other way around.

“The very fact that Twitter itself is half-baked, coupled with its designers’ willingness to let anyone build on top of it to finish baking it (I suppose it helps not to have any apparent business model that relies on drawing people to the actual Twitter Web site), is what makes it so powerful.  There’s no easy signature for a tweet-in-progress if its shorn of a direct connection to the servers at twitter.com.  And with so many ways to get those tweets there and back without the user needing twitter.com, it’s far more naturally censorship resistant than most other Web sites.”

Social networks like Twitter and Facebook, as well as video-sharing channels like YouTube, played a significant role in exposing the evils of the theocratic government of Iran. Over the past few months, protests were dealt with severely by the Iranian government, and there were reports that tens of people died and hundreds of protesters were arrested without charges. So if Twitter was really shut down by this shadowy “Iranian Cyber Army,” is it possible that they also have the capacity to hack Facebook?

***

UPDATE: It’s amazing to note that Twitter services have been restored only a few hours after it was hacked. This simply means that a freer country won over an evil regime that is Iran. America won. CAPITALISM WON!

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