Looks like hacker group LulzSec is back in action, this time redirecting the homepage of the Murdoch-owned The Sun (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/) to a fake story about Murdoch’s death from a drug overdose located on the Murdoch-owned URL used to broadcast the London Times’ redesign http://www.new-times.co.uk/sun. After the amount of requests caused a 404 failure on the Times site, the group then redirected The Sun’s homepage to the @LuzSec Twitter account. (The original page is archived at http://freze.it/pX)
From what I can see the fake story was meant to mirror an actual The Sun story about the latest development in the messy Murdoch/New Corp/News of the World scandal, “Ex News of the World journalist found dead.” After about 10 minutes of being up (and I swear the real Sun homepage was redirecting) the fake story was pulled from the UK Times site. I’m including the full text of the story below:
Media moguls body discovered
Rupert Murdoch, the controversial media mogul, has reportedly been found dead in his garden, police announce.
Murdoch, aged 80, has said to have ingested a large quantity of palladium before stumbling into his famous topiary garden late last night, passing out in the early hours of the morning.
“We found the chemicals sitting beside a kitchen table, recently cooked,” one officer states. “From what we can gather, Murdoch melted and consumed large quantities of it before exiting into his garden.”
Authorities would not comment on whether this was a planned suicide, though the general consensus among locals and unnamed sources is that this is the case.
One detective elaborates. “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.”
Another officer reveals that Murdoch was found slumped over a particularly large garden hedge fashioned into a galloping horse. “His favourite”, a butler, Davidson, reports.
Butler Davidson has since been taken into custody for additional questioning.
LulzSec confirmed its responsibility for the hack with a couple of tweets promising more attacks, “We have owned Sun/News of the World – that story is simply phase 1 – expect the lulz to flow in coming days,,””The Sun’s homepage now redirects to the Murdoch death story on the recently-owned New Times website. Can you spell success, gentlemen?” and “TheSun.co.uk now redirects to our twitter feed. Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun! How is your day? Good? Good!”
The group also threatened that The Sun hacking went further than surface level, and tweeted out the emails and passwords of what are presumably Sun employees from the @LulzSec account, writing “We are showing you a very small surface; the real damage is currently giving the admins heart attacks. ;).” Gizmodo is reporting that one of the employee passwords tweeted out by the Twitter account “Anonymousabu” belongs to the recently-arrested News International chief Rebekah Brooks.
Just when you though this News Corp story couldn’t get any worse, it did (Just add LulzSec!). But still, punishing the unscrupulous hacking of a murdered girl’s phone (among other things) with more hacking might not be the most coherent way to get your message across.
Update: The group is now claiming to have taken down News International’s DNS servers, bringing all 1,024 News International sites down.