It's apparent that the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) was successful in taking down the New York Times' online site NYTimes.com and affecting Twitter Tuesday, Aug. 27. They could have done more. AllThingsD.com listed Symantec.com and McAfee.com on a list of sites on Aug. 28 whose domain settings co-existed on the Melbourne, Australia-based server that SEA attacked, saying all sites on the list lacked protection from this type of attack in the same way that NYTimes.com and Twitter lacked protection.
It's interesting that Symantec.com and McAfee.com, two major sites that exist for the purpose of protecting other sites from computer viruses and related attacks, appear to have been susceptible to takeover attacks themselves.
The attack occurred because the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers who support the government of Syria, took advantage of the fact that many of the websites with domain names registered through Melbourne IT did not have controls in place to prevent intruders from re-directing traffic. SEA was able to enter the address for its own website in place of the address of the NYTimes.com site that readers wanted to see. As shown in the photo of SEA's Twitter page that's attached to this article, SEA's website crashed, unable to handle the NYTimes volume.
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