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NSA Website Offline, Agency Denies Attack (UPDATE)

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The website for the National Security Agency went offline Friday, with NSA.gov unavailable during the early evening. On Twitter, accounts associated with the hacker group Anonymous implied that the group may have been behind the attack:

Others claimed the hack was the work of the “Rustle League," another hacker group:

Reports that NSA.gov is down due to a hacker attack are unconfirmed, but the website was offline at press time. Gizmodo pointed out that reports of the outage began on Twitter nearly an hour before accounts believed to be associated with Anonymous began taking credit for it.

@AnonymousOwn3r does have a history of claiming responsibility for cyber attacks, RT noted in its report on the alleged hack. In July, Anonymous claimed it had launched a cyber attack against members of Congress.

As Epoch Times pointed out, the website Isitdownrightnow.com said on Friday evening that NSA.gov is “DOWN for everyone.”

The report comes amid an ongoing debate over the NSA's surveillance methods after former intelligence contractor employee Edward Snowden leaked a large number of national security documents in August.

UPDATE 10 p.m.: The Associated Press reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency says its website nsa.gov was inaccessible for several hours during a scheduled update.

The agency says an internal error in the system caused the problem.

There had been speculation on the Internet that the online site had been hit with a denial-of-service attack, but the agency said that was not true.

A denial-of-service attack is an attempt by outsiders to make a network unavailable to its intended users.

The NSA said the problem would be resolved Friday night.

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