The New York Times website appeared to be offline for more than an hour on Wednesday, as visitors to NYTimes.com were greeted with a "service unavailable" message.
It's unclear what caused the outage. "We believe the outage is the result of an internal issue and we're working on resolving it," Eileen Murphy, a New York Times Co. spokeswoman, wrote in an email to Yahoo News.
The site came back online shortly before 1 p.m. ET.
According to Fox Business reporter Matt Egan, the Times was the target of "a major cyberattack." An unnamed source told Egan that the newspaper "has been huddling with outside security professionals to assess the threat."
However, the paper's Twitter feed relayed a message that suggested something far less sinister.
The New York Times Web site is experiencing technical difficulties. We expect to be back up shortly.— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 14, 2013
The paper's corporate communications office then released a longer statement via Twitter:
As you are undoubtedly aware, we are experiencing a server issue that has resulted in our e-mail and Web site being unavailable. We believe the outage is the result of an internal issue, which we expect to be resolved soon. We will communicate further when we have more information.
And Daniel Slotnik, who works in the Times' obituary department, tweeted an update:
Also on Wednesday, the Syrian Electronic Army, an online hacktivist group, appeared to be behind the hacking of several New York Post staffers' Twitter and Facebook accounts.
NYT Web site update: we're hearing that a malfunctioning system patch somehow brought down the site and email.— Daniel E. Slotnik (@DSlotnik) August 14, 2013
There was no indication that attack and the Times' issue were related.
And some staffers at the Times did not appear to be taking the outage too seriously.
Readers, don't fret. If http://t.co/J1T79tODM5 remains down, we are ready to tweet op-eds and editorials in 140-character increments.— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) August 14, 2013
And one Times reader was quick to point out that the print version was, for once, more reliable than the digital edition.
Times Haiku is still up! http://t.co/u396qXaAqI— Amy O'Leary (@amyoleary) August 14, 2013
This still works. pic.twitter.com/EsEbVSSRdC— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) August 14, 2013
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