The Night Twitter Died (Temporarily)

A hack by a group calling itself the Iranian Cyber Army shuts down the microblogging site.

Last Updated: December 17, 2009 @ 11:13 PM

The social networking site Twitter was all but taken out of commission Thursday night for at least an hour around 10 p.m. west coast time, apparently by a group with the ominous name of the Iranian Cyber Army.

Users visiting the microblogging service found their usual stream of chatter replaced by a black and red screen informing them that Twitter had been hacked by the "Iranian Cyber Army." The rest of the mesage:

"U.S.A. 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 Peoples To….NOW WHICH COUNTRY IN EMBARGO LIST? IRAN? USA?
WE PUSH THEM IN EMBARGO LIST. Take care."

The screen also included an alleged email for the group.

Within a few minutes, users trying to visit Twitter found the site inaccessible, perhaps because Twitter had blocked access so that users wouldn’t be subjected to the scary screen.

Shortly after 11 p.m., users were able to access Twitter again, though it’s possible some users experienced a much shorter outage (this is TV MoJoe, not WebMoJoe).

Techcrunch.com, meanwhile, warned that the hackers might be trying to gain access to users’ passwords. It advised users who use their Twitter password on other sites to change those passwords immediately to prevent any security breaches.

While the Twitter hack won’t likely have any immediate impact on Hollywood, it no doubt proved to be a bummer for the thousands of showbiz types who regularly take to the service every day to trade information and track trends.

Friday, for example, should be a big day for "Avatar" on Twitter as users broadcast their reaction to the James Cameron epic. Unless, of course, the Iranian Cyber Army remains in control of America’s tweets.