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Hacks Hacked: Anonymous-affiliated LulzSec Target The Sun in ‘Murdoch Meltdown Monday’

Posted on the 19 July 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Hacks hacked: Anonymous-affiliated LulzSec target The Sun in ‘Murdoch Meltdown Monday’

LulzSec's hoax Murdoch death story

News International websites came under sustained attack on Monday night after ‘hacktivist’ collective Lulz Security (LulzSec) replaced The Sun ‘s website’s front page with an imitation website claiming Rupert Murdoch had died and later re-directed Sun online traffic to their own Twitter feed. The hack attack, dubbed ‘Murdoch Meltdown Monday’ by jubilant perpetrators, came out of leftfield given LulzSec recently announced their ‘retirement’ from the high-stakes hacking game.

The hoax story ‘reported’ that Murdoch has died after “having ingested a large quantity of palladium before stumbling into his famous topiary garden.”

In yet another troubling development for embattled News International, which is at the epicentre of phone hacking allegations, LulzSec claim to have accessed News International’s internal email store. Some email addresses and phone numbers for News International employees have already been released online by apparent LulzSec associates, reported The Financial Times, which noted that some are out of date.

“[T]he problems for the News International team aren’t over,” insisted The Guardian’s Chris Arthur, who speculated that “the hackers may have gained access to the email archive and be preparing to release it. If that happens, the effects could be titanic.”

In characteristically anarchist fashion, LulzSec tweeted throughout the digital assault. After the re-direct, LulzSec tweeted, “Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun! How is your day? Good? Good!’ LulzSec later tweeted, “We have joy, we have fun, we have messed up Murdoch’s Sun” and, “Arrest us. We dare you. We are the unstoppable hacking generation and you are a wasted old sack of s—, Murdoch.”

“We are the unstoppable hacking generation and you are a wasted old sack of s—, Murdoch,” tweeted LulzSec.

  • Why The Sun? The motivation behind LulzSec’s hack of The Sun “is unclear, but it is possible that the hacking gang is still angry about the newspaper’s coverage of the arrest of British teenager Ryan Cleary last month,” technology consultant Graham Cluley told Associated Press. “Cleary, who newspapers speculated was affiliated with the LulzSec hacking gang, was described by The Sun using words such as ‘geek,’ ‘nerd’ and ‘oddball’ in their report of his arrest,” reminded Cluley.

LulzSec describes itself as “a team of entertainment and security experts that specialise in the production of malicious comedic cybermaterials.”

  • How it went down. Chris Arthur at The Guardian spelled out how LulzSec ‘owned’ The Sun: “Monday night’s hack of the Sun occurred because one of the hackers found a weakness in a ‘retired’ server for the News International ‘microsites’ – used for small or unimportant stories – running Sun’s Solaris operating system. … The hacker used that and then ran a ‘local file inclusion’ program to gain access to the server – meaning they had extensive control over it. That then gave them access across large parts of the News International network, possibly including the archived emails, and to the Sun‘s ‘content management system’ (CMS) – which formats news onto pages. That will have included the code for the ‘breaking news’ element of the Sun’s main webpage; changing the entire content on the page would be too obvious. By including a line of Javascript in the ‘breaking news’ element, the hackers were able to ensure that anyone visiting the Sun‘s home page would, as the ticker was automatically refreshed, they would be redirected to anywhere that the hackers chose.”

“I know we quit, but we couldn’t sit by with our wine watching this walnut-faced Murdoch clowning around,” said a LulzSec spokesperson.

Hacks hacked: Anonymous-affiliated LulzSec target The Sun in ‘Murdoch Meltdown Monday’

LulzSec logo

Get more on phone hacking

  • Murdochs and Brooks face the music at culture select committee hearing
  • Phone hacking storm gathers pace: Rebekah Brooks arrested, Paul Stephenson resigns
  • Brooks (finally) resigns
  • Hackgate scandal spreads to US
  • News Corp pulls plug on BSkyB deal
  • Axed News of the World staffers hit Brooks with parting shot via final edition crossword
  • Hugh Grant turns the tables on The News of the World

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