News International pulled down the main Times and Sun websites yesterday after a fake ‘Murdoch dead’ news story was been placed on the Sun website after a hack by Lulz Security.
The newspaper’s proprietor is due to appear before a House of Commons committee today, after the site was hacked by Lulz Security, which used Twitter to claim responsibility for the attack.
The spoof story claimed that Rupert Murdoch had been found dead in his garden. Readers clicking on the hoax story on thesun.co.uk were redirected new-times.co.uk, where the story was placed, headlined ‘Media mogul’s body discovered’.
The Sun runs its website using Amazon Cloud services, though ComputerworldUK understands that Lulz security did not hack the core site. Instead they injected a preformatted HTML file into an old internal server at News International that is used to serve a content box which appears within pages delivered by the paper’s main Amazon Cloud delivered site. The spoof story claimed Murdoch had taken palladium, a radioactive substance, before dying in his garden.
The Lulzsec hackers’ message warned Murdoch, “This is only the beginning”, and claimed to have a pile of News International emails that they would release.
The hack came as another of Scotland Yard’s most senior police officers, John Yates resigned. Yates decided in 2009 that there was no need to reopen investigations into alleged phone hacking by journalists on its News of the World newspaper, which has closed. Yates was about to be suspended.
Lulzsec also struck as Sean Hoare, a former News of the World journalist, who was the first reporter to expose hacking at the paper, was found dead.
Rupert Murdoch and his son James, as well as former editor Rebekah Brooks, are due to appear this afternoon in front of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
Now read The Sun hacked: How it happened