According to statements from a spokesperson, the New York Times may have been hacked, resulting in the loss of access for many customers. Specifically, it appears that the attack has resulted in the redirection of its domain name servers, which has caused the Times to resort to some interesting methods to deliver the news.
The hacking has been attributed to a group of hackers called the Syrian Electronic Army, as some DNS lookup results point to servers in control of the sites.
Amid the outage, the Wall Street Journal has temporarily dropped its paywall, allowing readers full access to its articles without a subscription. This is the second NYT outage this month, and the second time that the WSJ has moved to capitalize on the outage by removing its paywall. The top breaking news item on the WSJ homepage at the time of publish was the NYT outage.
While its name servers, which translate the plain language ‘Nytimes.com’ domain into a target IP address, are down, the Times has resorted to tweeting out the addresses to stories with the direct IP of its servers in place of its domain name. This allows access to the sites articles via shared links, and users can browse the Times via the http://188.8.131.52/ address on mobile and desktop devices.
If you still have access to the Times, it may be because changes to servers propagate across the ‘net slowly. Some users may continue to see the homepage for some time.
“The site is down for some, not all and we are working to fix the problem,” said NYT spokesperson Eileen Murphy. “Our initial assessment is that this situation today is most likely the result of a malicious external attack.”