The New York Times website has been inaccessible to many users for a good part of the afternoon. According to at least one security expert, a hacktivist group with ties to the Assad regime is the likely culprit.
The newspaper posted a message on its Facebook page about 5 p.m. ET that said, "Many users are having difficulty accessing The New York Times online. We are working to fix the problem. Our initial assessment is the outage is most likely the result of a malicious external attack."Johansen's tweet indicated that someone had compromised the nytimes.com nameserver--and evidence pointed to funny business from the SEA domain.
Security threat researcher Matt Johansen said on Twitter that he suspected the attack was the work of the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Additionally, several users have posted screenshots on Twitter showing the NYT site replaced with a "Hacked by SEA" message. So far, I'm only getting 404'd whenever I try to browse there.
It's not the first time the SEA has hacked into news organizations' sites. On August 15, they attacked CNN and several other news organizations. They've also gotten their hands on the AP and WaPo Twitter feeds as well.
It looks like things should be back to normal soon--as of 6 pm Eastern, the DNS report points back to the nytimes.com domain as normal.