Social & Web
Many websites of the Dutch government were hammered by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the government said on Wednesday. In a statement, the government said the attack targeted the hosting service Prolocation, also knocking out other websites such as that of the satirical publication GeenStijl. It began 10am local time on Tuesday and apparently lasted into the evening. The Dutch National Center for Cyber Security is now coordinating with the government to investigate the attack. Ironically, as GeenStijl pointed out in its own statement, the DDoS took place on Safer Internet Day.
Anthony Noto, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer, got his Twitter account hacked Tuesday. His username started spamming followers, @ mentioning them with the line “I can’t stop laughing” and a link to another site. By the time of publishing, the spam had been deleted. As you’d imagine, snarky Twitter had a field day. The hack comes a few months after Noto infamously tweeted a line that was meant to be a private direct message about an acquisition.
Facebook’s internet.org portal, which emerging-market carriers offer for free in order to give new customers a taste of the web, has rolled out in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Mahararashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and Telangana. Provided by Reliance Communications, the app includes free access to almost 40 services and information sources. If someone wants to click through to the open web, they need to start paying. This scenario exemplifies the mixed impact of “zero-rating” particular content in emerging markets: it gets people online for the first time, offering potentially life-changing services from job search to farming information, but it also raises net neutrality issues by promoting the idea of Facebook’s portal effectively being the internet.
On Twitter’s earnings call yesterday, CEO Dick Costolo said its nearly flat user growth in the fourth quarter was partially the result of an iOS 8 bug. He didn’t explain it very well confusing analysts and journalists alike. On Friday, Twitter backtracked on that explanation. It tweeted, “To clarify from yesterday’s call: there was no bug or issue with iOS 8. It is an issue on Twitter’s side as users upgraded.” For a deeper explanation on what might have happened, read this.