New York Times subject to attack

August 29, 2013

The New York Times went offline earlier this week (August 27) following a suspected hacking.

Not only were subscribers unable to read online content, but workers at the publication were forced to be extra vigilant when sending emails, the paper confirmed.

This is the second time this month that the website was shut down, which chief information officer Marc Frons said was "the result of a malicious external attack".

Melbourne IT, the company's domain name registrar, was attacked by the group responsible – the service was quickly restored, but then went down again shortly after.

At present, the New York Times believes that the Syrian Electronic Army was behind the security breach.

Matt Johansen, head of the Threat Research Centre at White Hat Security, explained that he was redirected to a Syrian web domain when he tried to view the website.

Mr Frons commented: "In terms of the sophistication of the attack, this is a big deal. 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."

A number of high-profile attacks have affected online publications over recent months, as both the Financial Times and the Washington Post have both had their operations disrupted.