New York Times Having Online Problems: Internal Server Problem and/or Under a Hack Attack

By Peter Bernstein August 14, 2013

It is not yet clear what is going on with www.nytimes.com as this is written. What is clear is that when you click the link you get the following message.

You may remember that back in January the cyberespionage group known as APT 12 (Advanced Persistent Threat number 12), which is believed to have ties to China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), was identified as the culprit in an attack on the New York Times (NYT) and other high-profile organizations in a breach that got wide coverage. In fact, because of the security industry’s tools they were able to explain the methods of the attack which led to a souring of relations between the U.S. and China who denied any responsibility. 

In a blog post on August 12, Security firm FireEye noted that APT 12 after a period of inactivity seemed to have honed its malware with updated versions of Anumlib and Ixeshe. Speculation is that they are responsible for the current NYT problems.

Here is a recent (1:15 PM EDT) look at NYT’s Twitter account.

Various news outlets are quoting unnamed sources as saying this is an attack, and have cast suspicion on APT 12. At the moment, given the curt statement from NYT on the matter we will not know precisely what is going on under the so-called “Paper of Record” fills us in.  

TMC will update this story as events unfold. NYT is now saying you can get the news on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nytimes 

Update (2:25 PM EDT); NYT is back up at http://www.nytimes.com/. No mention made on their home page or technology section of the problems.

Update (3:25PM EDT): A few minutes ago NYT tweeted link to statement: "As you may know, our Web site was unavailable for a period of time earlier today. The outage occurred within seconds of a scheduled maintenance update, which we believe was the cause. We are working on fully restoring service and apologize for any inconvenience."

It appears for the moment that hackers were not the root cause.





Edited by Rich Steeves
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