Syrian Electronic Army Hacks NY Times

The New York Times was hacked today, and it appears to be the work of the Syrian Electronic Army.

According to ABC, this is the second time that the NY Times website has gone done. The first outage, on August 14, was the result of server problems. This time, however, the NY Times believes that they were the target of an external “malicious attack.”

The NY Times writes: “The New York Times website was unavailable to readers on Tuesday afternoon following an attack on the company’s domain name registrar, Melbourne IT. The attack also required employees of The Times to stop sending out sensitive e-mails.”

It’s unclear who is responsible for the attack but Mark Frons, chief information officer of The New York Times, believes that it was the Syrian Electronic Army.

Frons said: “(The outage today) was the result of a malicious external attack by the Syrian Electronic Army or someone trying very hard to be them.”

The NY Times isn’t the first website to be hacked by the SEA this month. The group also took down Twitter and the Huffington Post‘s UK site.

The SEA hacked into the registry accounts, known as the Domain Name Server (DNS) for each website. Brian Krebs, a cyber security blogger, told ABC that hackers had unlimited options once they were in the DNS.

Krebs said: “What couldn’t you do? What DNS does is translate human-friendly domain names into IP addresses and vice-versa. Essentially, if you hijack somebody’s domain name server or alter their information, you can control where the computer sends the user online.”

NBC News reports that SEA has also hacked into the Twitter accounts belonging to Reuters, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and The Financial Times.

In April, the SEA took control of the Associated Press’ twitter account and sent out a fake message about an explosion at the white house.