Syrian Electronic Army Targets The New York Times, Twitter and Huffington Post UK In Latest Hacks

 @AndrewBerry1
on August 27 2013 7:46 PM
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The New York Times was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army today. This is how the website looked to some users. Gawker

The Syrian Electronic Army -- a hacker group aligned with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad -- is reportedly behind a series of virtual attacks directed at both the New York Times and Twitter on Tuesday.

In the mid-afternoon EDT, the SEA accessed the Domain Name System (DNS) of the New York Times, Twitter and Huffington Post UK. According to the Next Web, changing the DNS records of a domain would allow someone to redirect users to the website of their choice.

 

 

A number of users began reporting various problems when trying to access the New York Times website. As Gawker notes, some were redirected to a site with the SEA logo, while others simply got an error message.

“Depending on where you are in the world, visitors to the times are being redirected to servers in Syria that appear to be operated by the Syrian Electronic Army, a group infamous for attacking Western media organizations,” Sophos security researcher Chester Wisniewski told the Washington Post.

The New York Times tweeted that their site was “experiencing technical difficulties. We are working on fully restoring the site.”

"I can confirm that the site is down," said Eileen Murphy, VP of corporate communications at the Times. "It's not down for every user. We are working to resolve the problem. Our initial assessment is it's most likely the result of a malicious external attack."

Meanwhile, Twitter.com appears to be working. But their DNS record was altered, which was confirmed in a tweet by the SEA.

 

 

Twitter issued the following statement after the attack, according to Gizmodo: “At 20:49 UTC, our DNS provider experienced an issue in which it appears DNS records for various organizations were modified, including one of Twitter’s domains used for image serving, twimg.com. Viewing of images and photos was sporadically impacted. By 22:29 UTC, the original domain record for twimg.com was restored. No Twitter user information was affected by this incident.”

The Huffington Post UK appears to be functioning normally.

According to NBCNews.com, the FBI is “aware of the hack and is looking into it.”

The SEA also has hit the Financial Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the Onion, Reuters and other media outlets recently.

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