Syrian Electronic Army takes down New York Times website, claims Twitter’s domains

The Syrian Electronic Army has claimed access to a number of Twitter’s international domains shortly after bringing down the New York Times’ website. The attack was apparently made through Melbourne IT.

The SEA managed to alter both contact details and domain name servers of the New York Times and Twitter after reportedly having gained access to their registry records in Melbourne IT. The SEA also claimed responsibility for hacking the Huffington Post UK domain.

As a result of the attack the New York Times’ website has been disabled for the second time in under a month. The newspaper attributed the outage to a “malicious external attack” widely thought to have come from hackers affiliated with the Syrian Electronic Army.

“Many users are having difficulty accessing the New York Times online,” the paper wrote on its Facebook page. “We are working to fix the problem. Our initial assessment is the outage is most likely the result of a malicious external attack. In the meantime we are continuing to publish key news reports.”

The SEA also claimed in a series of tweets that it hijacked several domains for Twitter, redirected the social media traffic to its own server, rendering the site unstable.

Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser confirmed to journalist Matthew Keys that site technicians are “looking into claims” from the SEA.


After claiming control of Twitter’s domain used for image serving,, the Syrian Electronic Army said it could inject it with Javascript code to redirect all Twitter users to the hacktivists’ website. However in the next tweet they acknowledged that “unfortunately” their server would not handle such massive traffic.

Both The New York Times and Twitter domains have been registered through the registrar MelbourneIT.

The New York Times Web has issued a statement acknowledging that their site was brought down as a result of an external attack by “the Syrian Electronic Army or someone trying very hard to be them.” Marc Frons, chief information officer for The New York Times Company, advised employees to “be careful when sending e-mail communications until this situation is resolved.”

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