New York Times Website Down
August 14, 2013 – The New York Times online publication NYTimes.com suffered a website outage late Wednesday morning, Aug. 13, 2013. (To instantly test the New York Times website outage status and performance from multiple worldwide locations run our Website Speed Test.) As of 3:30 pm ET Dotcom-Monitor was still showing long load times using non-cache IE 9 browsers from various world wide locations (see below).
According to a variety of news sources, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, NBC News, and CNBC the NYTimes outage started shortly after 11 am ET. The NYTimes website outage reportedly involved a “Service Unavailable” error when attempting to log on to the NYTtimes.com website, as well as mobile applications. A Service Unavailable error, or 503 error, generally means that the web site’s server is not available, usually due to maintenance or server overloading.
As of 3 pm ET NYTimes had not specified the exact nature of the New York Times website outage except to communicate via its Twitter “we believe the outage is the result of an internal issue, which we expect to be resolved soon.” As of 2 pm ET the NYTimes outage had largely stabilized. However, senior Technology editor Alexis C. Madrigal at The Atlantic raised the possibility that a Domain Name Server (DNS) issue was responsible for a NYTimes DNS outage. While Dotcom-Monitor did show long load times (as noted in graph above) as well as long DNS load times in more detailed charts those indicators could be due to a “secondary” aspect of the original NYTimes outage. Specifically, that secondary aspect could be many users simply hitting “refresh” on their browsers due to frustration at attempting to load the NYTimes website, resulting in intermittent overload stress on DNS servers.
If NYtimes DNS outage had occurred – theoretically – due to a denial of service (DoS) attack it would be one in a long line of recent DNS outages that have impacted large DNS providers and large institutions in the past year. However, at this time a NYTimes DNS outage is only speculation, and not well supported.
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