Netflix subscribers who rent their movies by streaming them online were left in the lurch Sunday when virtually the entire Netflix online system broke down, including its website. Netflix posted a notice reading, "We are sorry, the Netflix website and the ability to instantly watch movies are both temporarily unavailable. Our engineers are working hard to bring the site and ability to watch instantly back up as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and, again we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause." The outage lasted several hours. Speculation immediately arose that the site had been struck by a cyber attack. But a spokesperson for Netflix insisted later that the problem was "a technical issue that we fixed."
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