New York, NY, United States (4E) – The websites of The New York Times and Twitter were still experiencing disruption Wednesday a day after being hacked by suspected members of the obscure Syrian Electronic Army (SEA).
The hacking reportedly caused the newspaper’s website to become inaccessible or unseen to readers or show the logo of the SEA, which had hacked websites of The Washington Post, Associated Press, The Financial Times and CNN before. Twitter users also reported not seeing images on the micro blogging site.
The hackers attacked the paper’s domain name registrar, Melbourne IT, to gain access to a third-party company that maintains the nytimes.com records, according to Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. The hackers then altered the information on the records so the website will not show online.
Twitter users could not view images and photos starting 4:49 p.m. Tuesday after the domain name records for one image server, twimg.com, were modified. By 6:30 p.m., Twitter regained control of its records to stop the disruption.
Melbourne IT told Washington Post that the SEA obtained log-in credentials by phishing or sending of fake e-mails. It said the affected records were corrected and it took steps to prevent future hacking.
It was the second time SEA hackers attacked the website of The New York Times, said Marc Frons, chief information officer for The New York Times Company. The disruption, which happened at 3 p.m. Tuesday, was resolved but service was disrupted against after 6 p.m.
Frons described the attack as sophisticated because domain name registrars have extremely tight security.
The SEA emerged in 2011 targeting U.S. media websites to counter negative news on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which is battling rebels trying to overthrow it the past two years.