Social networking sites Twitter and Facebook were both unavailable for long periods this afternoon (Central African Time) due to a Distributed Denial of Service attack or DDoS, a process whereby huge numbers of infected computers, controlled by a single “master computer” besiege the servers of a site with demands for data until the servers – and the site – breaks.
Graham Cluley, a computer security expert, likened the attack to “15 fat men trying to get through a revolving door at the same time.” and while this explains the situation nicely, there is no definition of how fat the men are or how small the revolving door is. Some shopping malls (Meadowhall, Canal Walk) have huge automatic revolving doors which wouldn’t have any trouble fitting 15 fat men in. I can only imagine that either Twitter has a very small revolving door or that the men in question were exceptionally obese.
It’s also interesting to note that it is men who are taking the rap for this. In this age of political correctness, I sincerely hope that Graham considered the implications of his perceived single-sex attack. While it may reflect rather negatively on the male sex, I’m sure there will be – at some point down the line – some mouthy lesbian who will claim to have been struggling to get through the revolving door as well.
And already, accusations as to who employed the 15 fat men and the angry lezza are flying around. Some have suggested that Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinajacket was getting back at twitter for the rather unsupportive stance it took around his brutally putting down opposition protests last month. Others have suggested that it was some sort of coalition or consortium of bosses who just wanted their employees to actually get on with some work for once. Especially those in Port Elizabeth.
But it seems most likely that this was basically an attack by aliens who were just warming up to take on a really big site like this one. But don’t worry, we’ll be on the lookout for a group of fat bastard martians trying to get in through our revolving door. And this being South Africa, we’ll be ready and waiting to defend 6000 miles…the only way we know how: with a gaggle of angry black mamas toi-toi’ing their way to greet them.
There are few sights more terrifying than Nkosazana, Thandiwe and their chums singing and dancing their way towards you while holding up illegible placards made from torn cardboard boxes. Believe it, because it’s true.
Once the large social networking sites have seen how well we in South Africa defend our revolving doors, they will be flocking over to Mzansi, servers in hand. We’ll have a plethora of twits in Pretoria, loads of MySpace in the Karoo and Friends Reunited in Cape Town (as long as they went to the same school). All of which can surely only be good for the economy.
Then all we have to do is somehow stop them from noticing how slowly our revolving doors actually revolve.