US spy agency website back up after 'internal error' caused outage: Official

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The National Security Agency's website went down for several hours on Friday, but the United States spy service known for hacking into computer networks blamed the outage on a technical mistake.

The website,, went down in the afternoon, setting off speculation on Twitter that the site may have suffered a denial of service attack by hackers.

But an NSA spokesman denied the claims, saying they were "not true".

" was not accessible for several hours tonight because of an internal error that occurred during a scheduled update. The issue will be resolved this evening," the spokesman added.

"Claims that the outage was caused by a distributed denial of service attack are not true."

The website was operational again around 10.30pm local time on Friday.

The hacker group Anonymous joked about the incident in a tweet, without saying if it had played any role. "Aw don't panic about being down. They have a backup copy of the Internet," it said.

The loosely organised, international hacker collective has frequently clashed with the US authorities over file-sharing as well as allowing banks to handle donations to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

The NSA has been at the centre of a furor over its vast electronic surveillance operations, revealed in a series of leaks from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has obtained asylum in Russia.

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