LulzSec hits News International

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The LulzSec hacker group is back, bringing down the website of the Sun newspaper, owned by News International.

Readers were at first redirected to a story claiming that owner Rupert Murdoch had been found dead in his garden, having 'ingested a large quantity of palladium before stumbling into his famous topiary garden late last night'.

"Officers on the scene report a broken glass, a box of vintage wine, and what seems to be a family album strewn across the floor, containing images from days gone by; some containing handpainted portraits of Murdoch in his early days, donning a top hat and monocle," said the article - a reference to the LulzSec logo.

Later, the Sun website redirected to the LulzSec Twitter feed.

"TheSun.co.uk now redirects to our twitter feed. Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun! How is your day? Good? Good!," it says. "We have joy, we have fun, we have messed up Murdoch's Sun."

The Sun is now back to normal, showing the usual news of world importance - 'My escape from saline serial killer', and 'Charlotte Church: Wee [sic] did not romp', for example.

"The motivation for LulzSec's hack against The Sun is unclear, but it is possible that the hacking gang is still angry about the newspaper's coverage of the arrest of British teenager Ryan Cleary last month," suggests Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos.

"Cleary, who newspapers speculated was affiliated with the LulzSec hacking gang, was described by The Sun using words such as 'geek', 'nerd' and 'oddball' in their report of his arrest."

The main News International website is still down, though, with LulzSec claiming that it's brought down the company's DNS servers and all 1,024 web addresses.

"Oh, we forgot to mention that we sailed over to News International and wrecked them too. Nearing 300,000 followers... full steam ahead!" says the group.

LulzSec followed up by publishing what purported to be email passwords and mobile numbers for editorial staff, including chief executive Rebekah Brooks, although as this uses her maiden name of Wade, it appears to be several years out of date.

However, it claims to have the content of emails - and if these, too, date from the same period, they could make for interesting reading, as this is just when staff are claimed to have been hacking into the voicemail messages of celebrities and murder victims.

It's not clear just why the Lulz boat has sailed off on another raid after so publicly announcing that it was disbanding. It's possible that another group is involved.