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New York Times calls website hack attack 'a big deal'

The New York Times called the attack on its website "a big deal" after a group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army caused disruption.

Marc Frons, chief information officer for The New York Times Company, said: “In terms of the sophistication of the attack, this is a big deal.

The New York Times' website was attacked by a group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army.
The New York Times' website was attacked by a group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army. Credit: The New York Times

“It’s sort of like breaking into the local savings and loan versus breaking into Fort Knox.

"A domain registrar should have extremely tight security because they are holding the security to hundreds if not thousands of websites.”

US sites hit after domain name registering firm hacked

An Australian company that registers domain names said it had been hit by hackers after the websites of the New York Times, Twitter and Huffington Post UK were affected.

Melbourne IT spokesman Tony Smith said a reseller's username and password were used to access several domain names on that reseller's account and then those domain names were changed.

A person using a mouse and computer keyboard.
Melbourne IT, an Australian company that registers domain names, said it had been attacked. Credit: Adam Peck/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"We are currently reviewing our logs to see if we can obtain information on the identity of the party that has used the reseller credentials, and we will share this information with the reseller and any relevant law enforcement bodies," Smith said in an email to the Associated Press.

"We will also review additional layers of security that we can add to our reseller accounts," he added.

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Twitter and Huffington Post UK confirm hack attacks

Twitter and the Huffington Post UK confirmed they were hacked after the Syrian Electronic Army made claims it had taken over the sites.

Twitter said the hack led to availability issues for an hour and a half but that no user information was compromised.

Twitter and the Huffington Post confirmed they were hacked yesterday.
Twitter and the Huffington Post confirmed they were hacked yesterday. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The Huffington Post attack was limited to the blogging platform's UK web address, a spokesperson said.

The attacks came as the Obama administration considers taking action against the Syrian government.

Syrian Electronic Army claims it hacked US websites

The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed it is responsible for disrupting the New York Times' website and that it has taken over Twitter and the Huffington Post UK:

New York Times reporter Christine Haughney said the Times' website was down after its domain name registrar Melbourne IT was hacked.

Twitter spokeswoman Christina Thiry said the company was looking into the claims.

New York Times' site hit by 'malicious external attack'

The New York Times' website was inaccessible this evening, likely due to a "malicious external attack," spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said:

9924b9bf0fa71c13b72d449b830cfa10_normal

re: http://t.co/BQE1fJ3uLx - initial assessment - issue is most likely result of malicious external attack. working to fix

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The New York Times Web site is experiencing technical difficulties. We are working on fully restoring the site.

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If you are continuing to experience difficulty accessing http://t.co/SzEQTqHIZB, we are also publishing updates at http://t.co/XFJ9he7Yt0.

Though users can still access the newspaper's site by typing its internet protocol address, 170.149.168.130, into a web browser, typing nytimes.com produced error messages.

Two weeks ago, the Times' website suffered an outage that the company blamed on a server problem.

Twitter issues message to 'keep users secure' from security attacks

Twitter has issued a message to reassure its users after the social networking site detected "unusual access patterns" that led to "unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data".

In a statement on Twitter's blog it said that its investigation had detected that attackers may have had access to usernames, email addresses and passwords for around 250,000 users.

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