SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The New York Times website is back up after hackers identifying themselves as the Syrian Electronic Army knocked the site offline around noon on Tuesday.

I was actually able to access the site from Sweden when people from the U.S. weren’t. My guess would be that’s because I was going through a European server and bypassing whatever the hack was.

We do know that they went after an Australian-based hosting company, which hosts a domain registration and they used what’s called a spear-phishing attack meaning they got the credentials to log-in and re-direct and disable. It’s a little like stealing the keys and walking through the front door rather than breaking down the door.

As I understand it from friends in the U.S. the site has been sporadically available or unavailable much of Wednesday (but I heard it’s back up). It’s an indication that while Syria is physically 7,400 miles from San Francisco, there are less physically damaging elements of war that can reach us at home.

There are people who have very strong points of view that are expressing that in ways that affect Americans in a way that we are making note of.

U.S.-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Response Team) is just one of a sort of private-public cooperation preventative team for cyber attacks coordinated by Homeland Security.

The cyber attacks are becoming more common and the consequences can be tangible. You may remember (I believe it was the same group) that claimed responsibility for the Associated Press Twitter account hack that claimed the White House was under attack and that the president had been injured. That single tweet caused the stock market to temporarily drop 100 points.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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