Hacker group the Syrian Electronic Army “took over” the domain name of Twitter yesterday as it unleashed a series of cyber attacks on news organisations.
The group, which supports the regime of President Assad, also claimed successful attacks on the New York Times and Huffington Post on Tuesday.
Last night, Twitter’s status blog confirmed that its “DNS (domain name system) provider experienced an issue in which it appears DNS records for various organisations were modified, including one of Twitter’s domains used for image serving”.
The SEA’s own Twitter feed warned of the attacks by posting a message saying “Media is going down”.
According to The Independent, the New York Times confirmed that its site was disrupted by a “malicious external attack”, which briefly caused visitors to get error messages when accessing web pages.
A hacker purporting to be from the SEA told Associated Press that the attacks came about after the group hijacked an Australian-based company called Melbourne IT which registered domain names for both Twitter and the New York Times.
“I can't say how, but yes we did hit Melbourne IT,” the hacker told AP.
The SEA has undertaken a series of attacks on the websites or Twitter accounts of western media organisations in recent months. These include the BBC, The Guardian, Sky News, the Financial Times and the Washington Post.