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Personal details of The Sun readers posted online

Hacker obtained names and addresses of those that entered competitions on the website

News International has revealed that personal details belonging to web users that entered competitions on The Sun website have been posted online.

The details were harvested during an attack on the website last month, which saw hacking group LulzSec redirecting visitors to website to a fake story claiming Rupert Murdoch, owner of News International, 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.

According to Chris Duncan, News International's director of customer data, who emailed those affected "some customer information from competitions and polls was breached" during the attack. However, while names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers were leaked on the web, Duncan assured web users "no financial or password information was compromised".

A sample of the details, which included a database of Miss Scotland contestants and guests who attended the Royal Wedding this year, were published on Pastebin by a hacker who is known as Batteye. However, he claims not to be connected to hacking groups Anonymous or LulzSec, both of which have seen a handful of members arrested in relation to a recent attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency's (SOCA) website.

"Mankind makes mistakes. Mankind is all the better for them. Mankind learns from them. Some people, however, do not learn. Until these people are pruned by natural selection, incarceration, or otherwise, then mankind will not develop," Batteye said on pastebin.

"We will begin today be presenting to you, various files obtained from The Sun, a company within the News Corp group. We will continue, then, by exposing the world for what it is; a less than perfect place where we cannot trust those who we ask to protect our information. We will continue, until the list has been exhausted, or until the world and man kind realises that we must change how we go on."

Duncan's email also revealed News International is working with the Police and Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to ensure all files are retrieved.

News International recently came under fire 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 July.  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.


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