The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said on Thursday that its digital services had been shut down temporarily in what its news operation described as a hacking attack. Service was out for more than three hours Thursday and users received an error message. The broadcaster said on Twitter the outage was due to technical problems.

A news story posted on the website said it had been due to a “distributed denial of service” attack in which a website is swamped with more traffic than it can handle, overloading the services and taking them offline.

It was unclear who might have carried out an attack and what its goal might have been.