Aside from its obvious threat, the two biggest risk factors to Twitter's demise lay within our field of expertise. Arguably, the fact these two factors exist as an imminent threat rests heavily on its recent adoption, but we are not here to talk about that.
Before twitter had the spotlight on the global stage, it would have been under constant attack from malign users who were aiming to cause disruption, embarrassment, or financial gain. There are several ways in which hacking can impact twitter, the low hanging fruit being those celebrities reaching millions of followers. Hacking their accounts with scams is not a new idea, but it works, and it has been done before.
More pressing, is the real threat of a DDoS attack. We’ve covered what a DDoS attack is here, but in simple terms, hackers bombard twitter with a tonne of web traffic in the aim of overwhelming it and shutting it down. This type of attack seems more probable given the recent climate.
Hacking threats such as these are always a constant battle, but the reason they are so worrying for twitter momentarily is because of the loss of personnel. Only a few days ago did the head of cyber security leave, with no known replacement so far. Professionals with deep rooted understanding and skills responsible for the constant maintenance of Twitter’s defence and protection systems are dwindling fast. In order to maintain its robust security, twitter needs to retain its talent, supplier relationships and critical infrastructure.
As we know by now, the world pretty much runs on servers. Twitter is no exception. Without the servers, there is no twitter, or any other digital space. We’ve mentioned the loss of professionals at twitter, either by choice or forced exit. The problem this causes applies here too - servers also require maintenance and replacement, as data gets migrated between them.
Perhaps more pressing is the loss of servers due to deliberate physical damage. If servers are like the physical bodies of our digital platforms, this would be an equivalent to knocking them out. Knocking a server out would be sudden and dramatic. There are a lot of angry people out there at the moment - it is highly plausible this could happen. Of course, the chance of twitter’s servers going down is also likely to happen in routine maintenance that is not properly supervised.
Both of these threats lie within our industry, but more importantly, rest on the personnel available to ensure the efficacy of these critical industry structures. Way over half of twitter’s workforce has dissipated - the majority of those having been laid off by Elon Musk within a week of takeover, and now, increasing numbers are choosing to leave based on the new working conditions. Many of those departing are critical engineers and programmers - the people who keep twitter protected, updated and maintained.
It really is a case of watching and waiting on this one, but we hold moderate certainty that any blackout will essentially be the result of an attack or lack of resource in security and server control.