The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), which U.S. officials said has close ties to the Syrian military, allegedly hacked into both the New York Times website and Twitter Tuesday afternoon. The viewing of images and videos was sporadically impacted into the evening, but no information was affected.
The online group, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, posted a tweet just before 5 p.m.
Hi @Twitter, look at your domain, its owned by #SEA :) http://t.co/ZMfpo1t3oG pic.twitter.com/ck7brWtUhK— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) August 27, 2013
About an hour later, SEA tweeted again about the situation:
Media is going down.... | http://t.co/Gd1zB70v0g | http://t.co/8NUe7Cs2jm | http://t.co/QDdNdEuuVX | http://t.co/W9nmxo95PQ— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) August 27, 2013
The hack happened as President Obama nears a decision about America's response to Assad's suspected use of chemical weapons last week against his own people. U.S. officials told NBC News that it might launch limited missile strikes against Syria "as early as Thursday."
The disruption was the result of a "malicious, external attack," Mark Frons, chief information office of the Times, said in a statement just before 4:30 p.m.
The Times' server pointed to SEA, Matt Johansen, head of the Threat Research Center at WhiteHat Security, said Tuesday on Twitter.
Just to clarify. NYTimes DNS was pointing to an SEA name server. Twitters domain registration ownership information seems compromised.— Matt Johansen (@mattjay) August 27, 2013
It was the second time in two weeks that NYTimes.com experienced an outage. Other media organizations, including the Washington Post and the Financial Times, were also recently disruptedby SEA.