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New York Times site outage caused by attack on domain registrar, company says

Jaikumar Vijayan | Aug. 28, 2013
Attack may have compromised several other domains as well, including Twitter, security researchers say.

"There is no evidence of a DDoS attack related to the ongoing issues with DNS resolution for The New York Times website, nor is there any evidence that DNS cache-poisoning was involved," said Dan Holden, director of security research at Arbor Networks. "[The] incident appears to be the result of the latest in an apparently ongoing series of high-profile DNS registrar compromises and other operational issues."

Melbourne IT could not be reached immediately for comment.

Tuesday's outage marks the second time this month that the paper's main website been taken offline. On August 14, the site was knocked out for more than two hours and then struggled with sluggish performance for two more hours as the result of what the paper described as a technical glitch.

That outage, which also took down The Times' mobile application, occurred seconds after a scheduled site maintenance update, the company said at that time. The incident caused some speculation about whether the site had been hacked or had really gone down because of a technical issue as the paper claimed.

In January, The Times disclosed that attackers belonging to a Chinese hacking group had gained access to its networks and systems and remained undetected for four months. The intrusion happened in September 2012, when the paper was doing a story on China's Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, The Times noted.

Security experts suggested hackers might have gained an initial foothold on the company's website via a targeted, specially crafted phishing email.

 

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