New York Times website goes down

The New York Times's website and e-mail went down on Wednesday morning, which the newspaper believes was caused by "an internal issue" prior to a scheduled maintenance update.

Visitors to the Web page and other pages associated with the Times found a white page with the message: "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable."


"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," the newspaper's official Twitter account tweeted. "We will communicate further when we have more information."

The newspaper added that it will post key stories to its Facebook page as it works to restore the website.

By Wednesday afternoon, a message posted on the top of the Times website said the outage "occurred within seconds of a scheduled maintenance update, which we believe was the cause."

"We are working on fully restoring service and apologize for any inconvenience," the message added.

The website was running again, though slow to load, at 1:20 p.m. But the initial outage sent Twitter into a frenzy about what caused the disruption.

"We are aware that the site is down and we're looking into it," said Linda Zebian, corporate communications manager at The New York Times, in a tweet to The Hill, shortly after the site became inaccessable.

Email messages to officials at the Times failed to send and bounced back. Zebian did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether employee email addresses were also down. 

Fox Business reported that the newspaper has been meeting with outside security professionals to address a cyberthreat.

However, Nicole Perlroth, who covers cybersecurity for the Times, said in a tweet to The Hill that the paper's website is "not under attack."

Earlier this year The Times was the subject of a hacking campaign that stemmed from China.

Writing for The Times, Perlroth reported in January that Chinese hackers "persistently" attacked the newspapers's computer systems as it reported an investigative story about China's Prime Minister Wen Jaibao and his family. Security experts hired by The Times found that hackers cracked into the newspapers' computer systems and obtained passwords for its reporters and other employees. 

The hackers first broke into the paper's computers in September, when the reporting for the investigation on Wen's family was in its final stages.

After The Times revealed that it had been hacked, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post said Chinese hackers had also breached their computer systems. The hackers allegedly targeted the major U.S. newspapers to spy on stories their reporters were working on and sources they talked to.

Earlier on Wednesday, New York Times technology reporter Jenna Wortham tweeted: "Hm. The mothership is down but the NYT mobile app seems to be fully functional..."

— This story was last updated at 3:52 p.m.