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The New York Times went dark today, the second time this month the publication was unavailable for a significant amount of time.
The news publication acknowledged the downtime on its Facebook page, saying, “Our initial assessment is the outage is most likely the result of a malicious external attack.” It then linked to its latest post at the time, a post about the activity in Syria. The Syrian Electronic Army, which has been attacking a number of publications for its coverage of the conflict in Syria, claims responsibility for the hack, though this has not been confirmed.
Most recently, the Syrian Electronic Army hacked the Washington Post, redirecting some of its posts to the Syrian Electronic Army website. The hackers were able to access the publication through its partner Outbrain, which creates a widget that re-promotes a site’s existing content.
This time, it seems the hackers got in by hacking the New York Times’ domain name registrar, Melbourne IT.
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Security research firm AlienVault found one New York Times IP address redirecting to a Syrian Electronic Army website, adding some legitimacy to the hackers’ claims. New York Times chief information officer Marc Frons sent an email out to employees, warning them to be careful sending emails due to the hack. He further suspected the SEA was behind the attack.
The SEA gloated about the hack on its Twitter account, saying that it also hacked into a number of Twitter’s domains.
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