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New York Times website likely taken down by malicious attack

The New York Times building in New York City.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
The New York Times building in New York City.

The New York Times said its website has been taken down, in what was likely an external malicious attack Tuesday.

(Read more: New York Times suffers outage; Twitter experiencing hiccups, too )

Eileen Murphy, VP of corporate communications, initially reported the outage via Twitter.

While the Times was down, Twitter also experienced some hiccups on its website. A Twitter account for the group of hackers called the Syrian Electronic Army claimed that it had attacked the social media website and changed the ownership listing of Twitter's domain name registration.The same account later posted to Twitter that it had also taken over the registrations for the Times website and for the Huffington Post UK domain.

Twitter told CNBC that it was investigating the issue.

Twitter later issued a status update saying that its Domain Name System (DNS) provider had "experienced an issue in which it appears DNS records for various organizations were modified, including one of Twitter's domains used for image serving, twimg.com." As a result, "Viewing of images and photos was sporadically impacted."

The outage lasted about an hour and a half but was restored by 7:29pm UTC (3:29pm ET), Twitter said.

"No Twitter user information was affected by this incident," Twitter said.

Murphy told CNBC that the NYTimes.com outage was only affecting some users and that it was unclear how widespread the problem was. Service has been restored to some users. The company said it is working to restore service to all users.

The Times also appears to have suffered from a DNS attack, which basically means that the servers are still working but the information that points users to the site has been changed making it unreachable. The media company is still publishing stories and sending out IP links to articles.

The Times suffered an outage two weeks ago that lasted several hours; however, the company attributed that outage to internal technical issues and not an attack.

While the Times was down Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal said via Twitter that it had taken down its paywall, which is what the media company did when the Times was down earlier this month.

(Read more: New York Times website goes down )

Shares of the New York Times slipped in extended-hours trading following the news. What's the stock doing now? Click here for the latest after-hours quote.


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