NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The New York Times' website went down for several hours on Tuesday. A spokeswoman said it was likely because of a "malicious external attack."
After the site had been unavailable for several hours, Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy tweeted, "initial assessment - issue is most likely result of malicious external attack. working to fix." As of 5 p.m. ET, nytimes.com was still inaccessible on desktop computers for some users, but the company's mobile website and apps were up and running.
Security researcher Matt Johansen of WhiteHat Security tweeted that it appears as though the hacker group Syrian Electronic Army had compromised the servers that route traffic to the New York Times' website. The group's Twitter account didn't mention an attack on nytimes.com, but it did claim to have taken over Twitter's own domain on Tuesday afternoon.
The Times did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Two weeks ago, Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for hacking Outbrain, a news recommendation engine that appears on websites including The Washington Post , CNN and Time. The hacked news links were redirecting to a site controlled by the hacking group, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has taken credit for several recent cyberattacks.
The New York Times' own website had suffered an outage the day before the Outbrain hack, that prompting speculation that hackers were responsible, but a spokeswoman for the paper said that outage was the result of complications associated with a scheduled maintenance update.