man with hands over face

UPDATE: Twitter told CMSWire the issue was resolved around 1 p.m. today. In a statement, it attributed the outage to "an internal code change."

Twitter has confirmed an outage shut out some of its 320 million users earlier today. It started around 3:40 a.m. ET and had yet to be resolved as of noon ET — making it one of the longest reported outages for the social media site.

Twitter confirmed the outage in its status update where it said, "some users are currently experiencing problems accessing Twitter. We are aware of the issue and are working towards a resolution." Twitter's development site also confirmed the outage.

Three Outages, One Week

According to a review of the Twitter status site, which reports outages and any site issues, Twitter outages usually get resolved in the 10- to 30-minute range. On Dec. 28, 2014, the site dealt with an access issue for five hours, 25 minutes, which may be the longest before today. 

Today's reported outage is the third in a four-day span for the social media giant. According to Twitter's status update, an outage also occurred between 6:23 a.m. and 6:33 a.m. PT Monday morning when some users were experiencing issues accessing Twitter via mobile and web. That issue was resolved, according to Twitter officials.

The same problem (access to mobile and web) occurred three days earlier — Jan. 15 — between 12:35 p.m. and 12:58 p.m. PT.  

Before that, the last reported outage came two months ago: Nov. 19, a 30-minute span where "some users were experiencing issues accessing Twitter." 

The outage is not affecting all Twitter users. There are certainly no shortages of tweets today and the hashtag #twitterdown is trending — and you can't trend without access, right?

Good News Needed

Twitter's looking for any boost in momentum after disappointing investors. Revenue was up in reported third-quarter earnings in October to $569 million, up 58 percent year-on-year. But stocks still plummeted that day, roughly 13 percent or $4.04 to $27.30. It's trading today at around $17, down 3.15 percent.

When asked if a DNS or other security issue could have caused the outage, Travis Smith, senior security research engineer at Tripwire said, "Security operations live and die by the CIA triad; also known as confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The Twitter service being down is a hit to the availability, however there isn't enough information to know if this was a malicious attack or an operational error. It's quite possible an internal employee misconfigured a device or missed a system health check, both of which can have catastrophic repercussions such as this. Since availability issues don't generally cause data leakage, we may never know the true cause of today's outage.”

Twitter has not confirmed the source of the outage. Seven years ago, it confirmed its DNS records were temporarily compromised. "As some noticed," Twitter officials reported at that time, "Twitter.com was redirected for a while but API and platform applications were working."

Title image "Depression" (CC BY 2.0) by Ryan_M651