Updated: The Sun and News International sites hacked, Lulzsec claims responsibility

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Breaking: The web site of The Sun newspaper, part of News International which has been embroiled in the phone hacking scandal in the UK, has been hacked, apparently by hacker group Lulzsec, which tweeted “@LulzSec: We have owned Sun/News of the World – that story is simply phase 1 – expect the lulz to flow”. (See updates below)

The hack is a redirect to “http://www.new-times.co.uk/sun/” and contains a (clearly false) story about Rupert Murdoch being found dead. Ironically the domain ‘new-times.co.uk’ is registered to one News International Newspapers Limited.

The ‘story’ begins:

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.”

No doubt this is in reference to the tragic news tonight that a pivotal informer in the phone hacking scandal, Sean Hoare, was tonight found dead in his apartment, though Police are reporting the circumstances as ‘not suspicious’.

Update 1 (11.30pm): The redirect site clearly couldn’t take the load and the hack is now redirecting to Lulzsec’s Twitter page where they are tweeting things like “TheSun.co.uk now redirects to our twitter feed. Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun! How is your day? Good? Good!”

Update 2: Lulzsec has now hacked the News International site, redirecting a statement on The Sun to their Twitter feed, again.

Update 3: Groups and individuals associated with the hack are now spreading, via Twitter, usernames and passwords to internal News International emails including – we’ve seen – Rebekah Brooks. We’re not linking, we’re not that stupid, but here’s a taster:

Update 4 (12.30am, Tuesday): It would appear that either thetimes.co.uk and TheSundayTimes.co.uk have now been taken out by the hackers, or the sites have been taken down internally to avoid being hacked at all. Hard to tell right now. At any rate, with Parliament on the warpath I rather think News International has bigger problems to deal with right now…