The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a Pro-Assad regime hacker group, claims it gained control over a handful of web domains of major media sites including Twitter, The New York Times, and Huffington Post U.K.
The group said in a tweet that it took over the Twitter.com domain. The SEA said it was able to change some of the basic information in Twitter’s domain registry, such as the admin name and the email address for contacts, at DomainTools.com, here. However, it looks like that information has been switched back to normal.
A Twitter spokesperson directed Business Insider to the company’s status page, which states that the site’s domain records were modified.
Twitter says the attack affected the service it uses to host images on its site and some of those images were briefly affected. Twitter hasn’t expanded on the cause of the attack, but says no user information was compromised.
The New York Times website was taken down today too. The newspaper said the site went down after an attack on the company’s domain name registrar, Melbourne IT. Employees were told to stop sending sensitive emails during the attack, The Times’ Christine Haughney wrote.
Marc Frons, chief information officer for The New York Times, issued a statement this afternoon warning employees that the external attack was by “the Syrian Electronic Army or someone trying very hard to be them.”
The Times has a temporary home set up and are continuing to publish as they work through the outage at news.nytco.com.
The Huffington Post website appears to be working.
The SEA claims to be loyal to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, in his ongoing civil war with loosely organised, moderate rebel groups and Al Qaeda-affiliated militants. The SEA has previously attacked the BBC, National Public Radio, Human Rights Watch, The Onion, and the Financial Times.
Here’s the tweet from the SEA saying it has taken over Twitter:
Here’s another tweet from the SEA claiming it took over The New York Times and The Huffington Post domains:
Some people said they saw the following image when they tried to load the New York Times website today:
The twitter account of Huffington Post Tech took the opportunity to mock the SEA’s efforts of hacking their website:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.