The website of UK tabloid newspaper The Sun has become the victim of an attack by hacking group LulzSec.
Visitors to The Sun's website last night were re-directed to a fake story claiming Rupert Murdoch, owner of News International which publishes The Sun, had been found dead. The headline read: "Media moguls body discovered" complete with a spelling mistake, while the story said Murdoch's body had been found in his garden by police.
Hacking group LulzSec then took to micro-blogging service Twitter to take responsibility for the hack.
"We have owned Sun/News of the World - that story is simply phase 1 - expect the lulz to flow in coming days," one tweet read.
Later The Sun website was hacked again to include a link that redirected web users to LulzSec's Twitter
"TheSun.co.uk now redirects to our twitter feed. Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun! How is your day? Good? Good!," LulzSec said on its Twitter feed. A further Tweet read: "WE HAVE JOY WE HAVE FUN, WE HAVE MESSED UP MURDOCH'S SUN."
Some early reports on the web cited Anonymous as the hacking group behind the attack, but LulzSec was quick to clear up any confusion on its Twitter page. However, later on the group re-tweeted information from user named anon_alex that featured what's alleged to be the mobile numbers Pete Picton, Chris Hampartsoumian and Harvey Shaw, all former employees of the newspaper,
The Sun is owned by News International, which came under fire recently after it was revealed journalists working for the sister title, the News of the World, hacked into the voicemails of high-profile celebrities, politicians and even victims of the 7/7 London bombings and murdered teenager Milly Dowler with the help of a private investigator. In response to the growing fury over the paper's actions, News International chief executive James Murdoch announced the 168-year old Tabloid newspaper's closure at the beginning of the month. However, News International is expected to replace the News of the World with the Sun on Sunday as two related domain names had all been registered before the paper closed.
News International has yet to comment on the attack.
LulzSec is believed to be behind some recent high-profile attacks on websites belonging to the CIA and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
Russell Poole, security director at IT services company, 2e2, said any organisation whose business is heavily reliant on their web sites should be reviewing their security policies and procedures and carrying out further penetration testing to evaluate the potential risks they face.
"Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and targeted and so we need to be more vigilant, with individuals across any organisation being reminded of what they need to do to comply with security policies," he said.
"In the past attacks were very general in nature, where as now we are seeing these hacking groups focus in one a specific organisation. They are using multiple methods, including social engineering, to get information about certain individuals and then use this information to access corporate systems. Essentially, hackers are constantly evolving their weapons of attack, the challenge for businesses is to stay one step ahead."
Image courtesy of The Telegraph