So why did Tweets fall silent for much of today? One leading theory traces the problem to the unlikeliest of places—the conflict between Russia and Georgia, CNET reports. It goes like this: A pro-Georgia blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and the other sites affected by today's slowdown attracted the ire of foes. "It was a simultaneous attack across a number of properties targeting him to keep his voice from being heard," says Facebook's security chief.
That would make Russian nationalists the likely culprits, but the investigation continues. A security analyst tells the New York Times that the so-called denial-of-service attack—in which hackers overwhelm sites with connection requests—originated in Abkhazia, a disputed region between Russia and Georgia. "One side put up propaganda, the other side figured this out and is attacking them," he says. (Read more Twitter stories.)