Hacker activist group LulzSec has targeted Rupert Murdoch in an attack on The Sun newspaper website last night, falsely reporting the media mogul had been found dead.
The group redirected anyone trying to access the Sun website to the domain new-times.co.uk/sun (owned by News International) where a bogus page informed them of Murdoch’s death.
The report stated that he had killed himself by ingesting a large quantity of Palladium, a metal found in many electronic products.
LulzSec issued a statement last month to say that they were disbanding, but admitted this attack via their Twitter account – where they redirected surfers after the death report was taken down.
The Sun website was taken down last night in an attempt to curb the rumour and it is thought that the Times was also taken down as a precautionary measure.
LulzSec’s Twitter feed read: “TheSun.co.uk now redirects everyone to our Twitter feed. Hello everybody that wanted to visit The Sun! How is you day? Good? Good!”
LulzSec has a reputation for playing prank hacks, usually on companies which are under scrutiny for corporate wrongdoing. Rupert Murdoch and News International have recently closed The News of the World, a Sunday publication, after it came to light that the paper had been involved in mobile phone hacking.
One report states that LulzSec, along with fellow hacker group Anonymous, also accessed News Internationals’ mail servers and the hacktivists promise a press release sometime tomorrow.
The false story claimed that Mr Murdoch had stumbled into his garden after taking the metal compound and died there. The report also claimed that photographs of Murdoch’s glory days were strewn about the house and that Murdoch’s butler, Davidson, had been taken into custody for further questioning.
The hack is believed to be the first successful attack on a major British newspaper.
Murdoch and some of his high-ranking employees are to answer questions in Parliament on Wednesday concerning the phone hacking scandal in which the News of the World is said to have hacked celebrities, government officials and Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old murder victim.
It is thought that the hacking of the teenagers’ phone was carried out whilst police were looking for her, which interfered with the investigation.
In a press release on the News International website, which is back up and functioning today, along with the Sun website, Murdoch said: “The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself.”