Netflix says outage was "technical issue," not caused by hackers

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Netflix outage not caused by hackers

(CBS/CNET) - Netflix, the web's top video rental service but one with a history of suffering outages, saw another multihour blackout last night.

The site seems to have gone down for about three or four hours last night, according to reports from those posting to Twitter. Netflix is traditionally tight-lipped about the causes of its malfunctions and this time is no exception.

"Good morning," wrote Steve Swasey, Netflix's spokesman. "It was a technical issue that we fixed."

The good news is that Netflix wasn't taken out by marauding hackers. Sony, Sega, and a number of other business and government sites have been hit by hackers in a high-profile spate of cyberattacks this spring, and some in the blogosphere speculated that Netflix may have succumbed to a similar attack.

But glitches at Netflix, while not frequent, do occur. This is the third time the service has gone offline in the past 10 months.

In the past decade, the service has become a major entertainment hub for more than 23 million users. When Netflix outages occur, they are now major events. People get miffed when they can't access their Netflix films or TV shows.

"Netflix is down," wrote musician Cris Cornell on Twitter. "I wonder if domestic violence will spike."

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    Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.