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Syrian hacks, shares slide

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Syrian hacks, shares slide

Shares of The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) are lower on Wednesday morning following a series of cyber attacks aimed at the company’s website. Early in Wednesday’s session, with the broad market seeking gains, shares of the company were down by more than 2%. As the Syrian conflict heats up, and U.S. action seems imminent, a Syrian group appears to be behind the attacks.

As the media outage stretched into its second day, Wednesday, evidence is starting to point to a group known as the Syrian Electronic Army. The group, loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, has carried out a number of cyber attacks on media websites this year, on social media, the group took credit for the sophisticated hack that brought down the site for roughly 20 hours. These days cyber attacks are appearing all the more often, but this is the first time we have seen a media attack, to this magnitude, with such a pinpointed cause. The attack was aimed at limiting the ability of the company to post war sensitive messages to its website. However, even through the debacle the company was able to release some content through unconventional outlets. The New York Times continued to post articles at its numerical IP address, 170.149.168.130 and at news.nytco.com.

Year to date shares of the company have soared, shareholders are up by more than 30% even amid sharp broad market declines as of late. It is too soon to tell if the group is planning another attack, however, it seems a likely progression. If the group has the ability to break into a website as secure as the New York Times, it would be logical to assume they have the capabilities to go after a smaller counterpart. Traders will be watching the 50 day moving average at $12.02 as a key level of resistance in the coming weeks.

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