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NY Times, Twitter, HuffPo fall victim to Syrian Electronic Army hack

updated 07:08 pm EDT, Tue August 27, 2013

Attack on the New York Times second in two weeks

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) tonight has claimed responsibility for a trio of hacks -- one directed at The New York Times, the second at the Huffington Post UK branch, and the third at microblogging service Twitter. All three appear to be attacks on the DNS records, as well as some sort of intrusion on Twitter's image hosting and URL shortening service.

A Twitter representative said the company is investigating claims of changed background images, as well as reports of redirection to the SEA's servers. Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokesperson said that "the site is down for some, not all [of the reported issues] and we are working to fix the problem." The Times has set up some substitute URLs for visiting the paper's website, calling the problem "most likely the result of a malicious external attack."

Both The New York Times and Twitter name servers are registered through Melbourne IT. Changes seem to be happening as a result of somebody with credentials from that registrar changing the URL. It is unknown how many other media companies use Melbourne IT for DNS registration. A statement from the Times says that the company's 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."

At 7PM EST, Twitter and the Huffington Post's UK branch DNS has been repaired. The Twitter image service and the New York Times' servers, however, still include bogus information pointing to the SEA servers.




by MacNN Staff

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