CYBERSECURITY—SOCIAL MEDIA

Attacks underscore the limits of Twitter, Facebook

It is tempting to dismiss the recent denial-of-service attacks against Twitter and Facebook as trivial. If you were badly inconvenienced by the unavailability of these services, the best advice might be to just get a life and learn to live without a stream of instant updates on the lives of practical strangers.

But these applications also are creeping into the enterprise as business tools being used for information sharing and public outreach. This is all well and good, but the recent interruptions should serve as a reminder that these tools are not yet ready for mission-critical tasks. As an additional channel for getting information before the public or communicating with a community of shared interests, they have value. And they doubtless will evolve to become more robust and useful. But they probably should not be depended on today for important tasks.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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Reader Comments

Thu, Aug 20, 2009 Washington, DC

You almost got that down to 140 characters, William. Let me help: Twitter is 4 NERDS! Eh, humbug! But, Twitter very popular, so.. Twitter good! But, DDOS BAD! But, twitter doubtless GOOD! Get off my lawn!

Wed, Aug 19, 2009 Washington, DC

Regarding "But they probably should not be depended on today for important tasks." If you recall, FCW reported how OSD SBU's email was down for three days due to an attack. See http://fcw.com/articles/2008/03/06/osd-cio-network-configuration-scanning-softened-cyberattack-blow.aspx So if one were to use the same litmus test as you are using for social networking sites, then the DoD Exchange email systems are not yet ready for mission-critical tasks either and further underscore the limits and vulnerability of many enterprise systems.

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