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Hacker Attack Shuts Down Twitter

Even though this doesn't strictly qualify as economic news, it's interesting for the subset of online users who use Twitter: A hacker attack has shut down the micro-blog service since about 9 a.m. today.

Twitter said it is "defending against a denial-of-service attack," according to its service blog.

As of this posting, Twitter is still down.

The service -- which allows users to send instant messages of 140 characters or less -- has taken the media/athlete/celebrity industries by storm and has become a player in breaking news. The first widespread announcement of a recent California earthquake, for instance, was distributed via Twitter.

Institutions are struggling to control Twitter and the information being leaked out by individuals.

The NFL and U.S. Marine Corps are two recent organizations that have cracked down on use of the service. Some NFL teams have clamped down on players who Tweet and the Marines have banned Twitter, along with Facebook and MySpace, from their networks.

A recent Nielsen study shows that the biggest growth in use of Twitter -- 64 percent of all growth -- comes from the 25-54 age group. The smallest slice of growth, 16 percent, comes from the under-25 group.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  August 6, 2009; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: NFL, Twitter  
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