Twitter.com was down Thursday evening, and it appears that the microblogging site may have been hacked or the victim of a DNS hijacking.
The site, which was inaccessible for about an hour starting around 10 p.m. PST, was defaced with the following image before it was taken offline:
The message at the bottom of the image appears to be written in Perso-Arabic script and when translated to English it read:
Iranian Cyber Army
THIS SITE HAS BEEN HACKED BY IRANIAN CYBER ARMY
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
Twitter’s status blog was also inaccessible. A Twitter update message posted at 11:28 p.m. said the site was “working to recovery from an unplanned downtime” and indicated that the incident was indeed a hijacking of Twitter’s DNS records:
Twitter’s DNS records were temporarily compromised but have now been fixed. We are looking into the underlying cause and will update with more information soon.
Clearly, there is a contentious history between Twitter and Iran. In the wake of supposed results of that nation’s presidential election in June, protesters in Iran used Twitter to skirt government filters to report events, express outrage, and get people out to opposition rallies. Twitter even rescheduled some planned downtime in order to stay accessible for Iranian users in the midst of political upheaval at the request of the U.S. Department of State.