The website of New York Times has run into a number of problems in recent times. Many groups of hackers have tried to take down the site or hack it for other nefarious purposes. The site was recently taken down, yet again, on Tuesday and the outage continued well into Wednesday.
According to the investigations done so far, it appears that the pro-Assad group of hackers, Syrian Electronic Army, had been involved in the attempt. Much to the astonishment of security researchers, whoever tried to target the site went to great pains and devised a very elaborate plan.
The hackers originally targeted Melbourne IT, which is the domain registrar of New York Times and thousands of other times. Somehow, the hackers were able to get their hands on the login credentials required for the systems at Melbourne IT and once they were logged in, they wrecked havoc on the NYT site.
However, to the credit of the NYT team, it refused to stop its news and continued dishing out updates across its social media accounts as well as at its numerical IP address: 188.8.131.52. Nonetheless, the instance is very alarming because domain registrars normally have excellent security measures in place. This essentially means that either Melbourne IT wasn’t well equipped to take on the hackers or that the hackers, allegedly those belonging to SEA, were equipped with some really advanced tools.
According to the chief information officer of NYT, Marc Frons, “It’s sort of like breaking into the local savings and loan versus breaking into Fort Knox. A domain registrar should have extremely tight security because they are holding the security to hundreds if not thousands of Web sites.”