Ever attuned to the headlines, the hacker collective Anonymous have inserted themselves into the ongoing scandal over hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World Tabloid, hacking the Web site of The Sun, another Murdoch publication, and redirecting traffic to that paper’s home page to a phony story announcing the media mogul’s death.
The Web site of the Sun was not reachable at 23:00 GMT, and displayed a message saying that the Web server had encountered an internal server error. A message distributed from the @AnonymousIRC Twitter account at 21:00 GMT announced the hack.
“We have joy we have fun we will mess up Murdoch’s Sun…Hi Rupert! Have fun tomorrow at the Parliament!#AntiSec,” the message read, using the name of the widespread protest movement.
Neither the Sun’s home page nor the Web site hosting the phony story were accessible as of 23:00 GMT. However, the Web site Gizmodo captured an image of a phony Sun front page with the headline reading “Media Mogul’s Body Discovered.” News International could not be reached for comment late Monday.
The anarchic hacking group LulzSec also chimed in on the incident, noting the attack. LulzSec claimed to have disbanded and is believed to have folded itself back into Anonymous of late.
The hack comes on the eve of anticipated testimony by Murdoch and former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks before the House of Commons. Brooks was forced to resign last week and was subsequently arrested and questioned by the Metropolitan Police. The scandal engulfing News International has been building for years and has led to numerous arrests as well as the resignation two of Britain’s top police officers over decisions to shelve an investigation of widespread phone hacking attached to News of the World and what now appear to be a too-cozy relationship between Murdoch, News of the World and The Metropolitan Police.