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Here’s What We Know About The Syrian Electronic Army’s Widespread Digital Attack

UPDATED: The victims include The New York Times, Twitter, and The Huffington Post UK.

1. The New York Times website went down around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, which The Times’ Facebook page explained was due to a “malicious external attack.”

2. Quickly Twitter users began to suspect that the Syrian Electronic Army was behind the outage.


Ger�e7ek Suriye سورdaا

@DoruSuriya

Unconfirmed: New York Times website dropped by SEA (Syrian Electronic Army)

/ Via

3. In April, The Syrian Electronic Army hacked the Associated Press Twitter account, announcing false explosions at the White House.

The group has also hacked the Washington Post, National Public Radio, CBS News, and the Onion.

4. Though it’s hard to reproduce due to spotty service, several Twitter users have reported seeing SEA logos on the Times’s site when the refresh the page.


Kim Bhasin

@KimBhasin

Here’s what shows up when I go to the @nytimes

/ Via

5. The newest Twitter account belonging to the Syrian Electronic Army did not claim that they were behind the attack on The New York Times, however.

6. They did tweet out this, though, claiming that they had taken over Twitter.com’s domain

Hi @Twitter, look at your domain, its owned by #SEA :) http://t.co/ZMfpo1t3oG

— Official_SEA16 (@SyrianElectronicArmy)

SyrianElectronicArmy

@Official_SEA16

Hi @Twitter, look at your domain, its owned by #SEA :) http://t.co/ZMfpo1t3oG

/ Via

7. It appears that the report is accurate and that the Syrian Electronic Army is currently in control of the Twitter.com domain.

Haven't been able to get comment from Twitter yet but this is what a WhoIs search returns for me (note "SEA")

— MikeIsaac (@Mike Isaac)

Mike Isaac

@MikeIsaac

Haven’t been able to get comment from Twitter yet but this is what a WhoIs search returns for me (note “SEA”)

/ Via

8. The hacker group appears to be opening up new domains belonging to Twitter and The New York Times.

Syrian Electronic Army now hosting new domains on their IP. Domains belong to @NyTimes and @Twitter.

— jaesonschultz (@Jaeson Schultz)

Jaeson Schultz

@jaesonschultz

Syrian Electronic Army now hosting new domains on their IP. Domains belong to @NyTimes and @Twitter.

/ Via

9. As of 5:55 p.m. Tuesday, The Huffington Post UK’s domain appears to have been claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army, as well.

Syrian Electronic Army now claims name servers of @HuffPostUK: "Media is going down." https://t.co/SqJ4f5aDAu

— moneyries (@Brian Ries)

Brian Ries

@moneyries

Syrian Electronic Army now claims name servers of @HuffPostUK: “Media is going down.” https://t.co/SqJ4f5aDAu

/ Via

Media is going down.... | http://t.co/Gd1zB70v0g | http://t.co/8NUe7Cs2jm | http://t.co/QDdNdEuuVX | http://t.co/W9nmxo95PQ

— Official_SEA16 (@SyrianElectronicArmy)

SyrianElectronicArmy

@Official_SEA16

Media is going down…. | http://t.co/Gd1zB70v0g | http://t.co/8NUe7Cs2jm | http://t.co/QDdNdEuuVX | http://t.co/W9nmxo95PQ

/ Via

11. The New York Times’ chief information officer issued a statement regarding the attack saying it was the result of an external attack by “the Syrian Electronic Army or someone trying very hard to be them.”

12. UPDATE — Aug 27, 2013 7:05 p.m. ET: Officials told NBC News that the FBI is “aware of the hack and is looking into it.”

13. UPDATE — Aug 27, 2013 7:09 p.m. ET: Twitter issued a statement about the attack:

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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