The “hacktivist” collective, which has previously hacked into the networks of Sony and Nintendo, redirected readers visiting thesun.co.uk to a page on new-times.co.uk, saying Murdoch had died from a drug overdose. The website then redirected visitors to the LulzSec Twitter account.
LulzSec claimed responsibility for the attack on its Twitter feed, saying: “[sic] WE HAVE JOY WE HAVE FUN, WE HAVE MESSED UP MURDOCH’S SUN.”
The Sun website is now live again, although the News International corporate site appeared to be offline at the time of press on Tuesday (19 July) morning.
A News International spokesman says the media group is “aware” of the hacking attempt on the Sun.co.uk site and that all of its websites, including The Times, are now online again this morning.
LulzSec is a splinter group from Anonymous, the group that hit notoriety last year when it targeted companies including PayPal, Visa, Amazon and Mastercard for cutting off payments to the WikiLeaks website.
Earlier this month, former hacker Gregory Evans, now a security analyst at Nationalcybersecurity.com, told Marketing Week that big corporations should not employ IT managers to repair the damage from hacker attacks.
“To catch a thief, it takes a thief,” he said.
Rupert Murdoch, along with his son James and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks face a grilling from MPs this afternoon as they attend a parliamentary select committee to answer questions about the alleged phone hacking that took place at the now defunct News of the World.
Read our in-depth cover feature about dealing with online security breaches from hacktivist groups