‘New York Times’ Back Online After Hackers Shut Down Its Website For Hours

August 28, 2013  |  

If you’re like us, you were hitting refresh over and over again yesterday, trying to get into The New York Times website to no avail. Unlike the first time the site went down a couple of weeks ago (that was because of “technical difficulties”), this time, the paper says it was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army “or someone trying very hard to be like them,” according to the Times’ chief information officer, Marc Frons.

The Syrian Electronic Army is a group of hackers sympathetic to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The group attacked The Washington Post on August 15, the Times says, and tried to hack CNN. The group has been around since 2011, when uprisings in that country began. Facebook, Oprah, and the Financial Times have all been victims. Just before 5pm yesterday, Twitter reported that something was fishy on its site as well, which you may have noticed (we did). Images stopped showing properly on that site and, from what we saw, on Hootsuite. But they say no user information was impacted.

Other sites around the world were also impacted by the SEA’s activities.


Western powers, including the US and Britain, are preparing for a possible strike against Syria after reports that the al-Assad government used chemical agents against its own people. United Nations inspectors are collecting evidence, but according to statements made by British Prime Minister David Cameron, the government has all but said they executed the attack and rebels wouldn’t have the capabilities to do so. Russia opposes any intervention, warning that it could cause further destabilization to “the country and the region.”

Syria’s closest ally, Iran, has also warned that a strike would lead to more trouble.

But back to the Times. We don’t know about you, but we found ourselves clicking on a number of links yesterday and being unable to access them, showing just how important the newspaper’s website is to the sharing of news on the Internet. Twice in one month has been hard for us to take.

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