The website for the widely popular New York magazine was knocked offline by hackers earlier in the day, following an article posted Monday about comedian Bill Cosby.
Just hours after New York Magazine released their headlining story following the stories 35 women who accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them, the site was taken offline. Following the release, the site was the target of a large Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack, overloading the servers with faulty traffic causing the website to crash.
“Our site is experiencing technical difficulties. We are aware of the issue, and working on a fix,” the magazine wrote on Twitter Monday.
A hacker, running under the alias moniker ThreatKing has taken credit for attack. During an interview with the Daily Dot, the anonymous hacker claims the Cosby story posting is purely coincidental. ThreatKing said his motivation stems from a recent visit to The Big Apple that went not so well.
“I have not even seen the cover, LOL,” ThreatKing explained to the website during his online Skype interview. “I went to New York 2 months ago. It was really bad. Someone pranked me. Everyone started laughing and sh-t…I’ve seen many pranks gone wrong at new york. That got me pissed. That’s why I chose New York.”
ThreatKing initially took credit for the hack on Twitter, posting under the hacking group handle @Vikingdom2016, which carried out similar attacks against government websites earlier in the year. ThreatKing said the group will continue to target New York-affiliated websites, knocking them offline with powerful attacks.
The hacker said his main goal was to keep New York Magazine offline for 14 hours before focusing his efforts on other New York-based news sites, which he intends to knock offline, including the New York Times, New York University and the New York City FBI bureau.
“Vikingdom2016 is going to attack bigger new york websites so stay tuned. #Vikingdom2016,” the hacker said.
During the time the magazine was offline, they began releasing victims stories through Instagram.
The magazine came back online around noon, but ThreatKing continued to send the massive DDoS attacks. The site was fully restored and functioning by early afternoon.