back to article How LulzSec pwned The Sun

Infamous pranktivist hackers LulzSec exploited basic security mistakes on a News International website to redirect users towards a fake story on the supposed death of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, it has emerged. The bogus story claimed that Murdoch had died after ingesting a "large quantity of palladium" (a rare metal*) before …


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  1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Don't make me laugh!

    "Rupert Murdoch is due to face a grilling from Parliament "

    PM: Did you order the phone hacks?

    RM: No.

    PM: Did you have any knowledge of these phone hacks?

    RM: No.

    PM: Well I'm satisfied! We're all in agreement that Mr Murdoch can leave without a stain on his character? Good! Thank you Mr Murdoch for being so forthcoming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Not quite

      It won't be cameron but a committee of MPs from all parties, many of whom hate News International with a passion. So don't expect him to get off lightly in terms of questioning.... But will he 'have' to tell the truth - does he even know what happened in terms of the hacking stuff ... That's to be seen.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      You missed a bit at the end

      PM And thank Mr Murdoch for your valuable campaign contribution

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Actually it is

        PM And thank Mr Murdoch for your valuable campaign assistance

        Sun and co do not contribute, they think that they are invincible because they perceive themseves as the "KingMakers".

        That history (especially British) has shown to be a _VERY_ dangerous perception. Roger Mortimer and Richard Neville paid the price for that "mistake".

        When the KingMakers stop being of use to the King they tend to find their own Maker.

        1. Zog The Undeniable

          Did anyone else misread that as

          'Roger Mellie* and Richard Neville paid the price for that "mistake"' ?

          Just me, then.

          *The Man On The Telly

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Rupert Murdoch grilling

      @The Fuzzy Wotnot: "Rupert Murdoch is due to face a grilling from Parliament "

      PM: Produce the NI email archive for the period in question.

      RM: We don't have one, we mailed the only copy to India and they got lost in transit :)

      PM: Thank you Mr Murdoch for being so forthcoming.

  2. Shane8
    Thumb Up

    would love to see the classic news...

    Oprah is dead!!! always a classic trade store in WoW...

  3. TeeCee Gold badge

    That's handy.

    "...may have allowed LulzSec access to NI's email database..."

    So presumably Lulzsec now have their paws on an eclectic selection of celebrity voicemail PINs then?

    I suppose if they have accessed any private emails of NI staff, that would make the tactics of Lulzsec pretty much indistinguishable from what it is that they are supposedly protesting about........or would this be one of those "one law for them....." things?

    1. Elmer Phud

      I suppose

      I suppose they might not have.

      I suppose they may have just got to one area of the front page

      'may have' absolute FUD!

      It's one lot of supposition for some and another lot of supposition for others.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    maybe giving them too much credit but..

    But someone over on Arstech thought it might be reference to this:

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    No doubt Murdoch spitting blood on this.

    "They hacked me like I was some nobody like the British government or some dead kid."

    "If there's any hacking to be done round here (whispered conversation with legal adviser) I have no idea about it."

  6. Aaron Fothergill

    Buggers the investigation though?

    Assuming the Met haven't already been in and grabbed copies of everything at News International as possible evidence in their hacking investigation doesn't this possibly risk tainting any email or server based evidence?

    i.e "That file was obviously placed there by LulzSec m'lud"

    1. Anonymous Coward


      This in fact gives the Met a legal precedent to take a snapshot of the evidence.

      Proper one this time without friend-of-mine old-boys-network involved.

  7. Daniel Garcia 2


    It is not a rare earth, but from a group of transition metal (nickel,palladium,platinum).

    I got a periodic table in front of me.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Wrong again!

      It's a theatre near Piccadilly.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      There is an alternative misspelling

      Pallidium, the Treponema kind. A good description of a News International journalistic merit.

    3. djs

      Rare, not rare earth

      Nobody said it was rare earth. Just rare, like gold or platinum (which also aren't rare earth metals, but are rare all the same).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... is where people go to be entertained.

  9. Baked Beans

    "We know no spectacle so ridiculous

    as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality."

    Well, good to get it out of our systems at least.

    1. 5.antiago


      Yep, like that time we banned slavery. Of course, it was just a passing fad

      Oh, and do you remember that time we gave women the vote? The British public certainly does latch on to some odd notions sometimes, we're just a whimsical and fanciful bunch

      1. dr No

        That's right, it was a mere 35 years after..

        ..they got the vote in New Zealand. And just 33 years after South Australia. Cutting edge stuff, chaps.

  10. Zog The Undeniable
    Thumb Up


    was also the codename for Microshaft's Trusted Computing platform, which aimed to DRM everything so we could be reamed by the content producers. So it's kinda appropriate.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. John G Imrie

      No that was Tommy Cooper

      a man so funny he died with the audiences laughter in his ears.

      Tommy Cooper RIP.

  12. Baked Beans

    Force of habit

    I've said it several times now (and received about 50 thumbs down for doing so) but doesn't anybody recognize the fantastic irony and hypocrisy of howling for Murdoch's blood for hacking (or whoever beneath him was doing the hacking) and stealing private data on the one hand while praising (and I'll quote myself verbatim - thanks for 16 thumbs down) "Anonymous and various psychopathic, cretinous splinter groups" for doing the exact same thing on the other?

    Why the double standard? I understand the need to get one of our pathetic, babyish and embarrassing fits of morality out of the way and "walnut faced Murdoch" and anyone else we can associate with him is as good a target as any (those poor pedophiles need a break), but why will nobody laugh at the irony? I know those in a fit of false moral outrage temporarily lose their sense of humour but I hope you all laugh with me when this is all over.

    1. hoffmeister
      Thumb Down

      not really,

      Rupert Murdoch is the owner of a news corporation which should not be acting illegally, Lulzsec is a illegal hacking group.

      We expect illegal activity from a hacking group not a news corporation.

    2. Sam Liddicott

      I'm not sure why you don't understand

      You stated the reason yourself when you said: doing the exact same thing on the other

      It's because NI reap the rewards of their own doings.

      It's a case of "live by the sword, die by the sword" or "see how you like it"

      We like to see justice served, we aren't so fussed who serves it. We saw some nice quick justice, almost a short sharp shock, so to speak; the punishment fit the crime, etc.

      Also, we do laugh at the irony, that's what makes it so great.

    3. Guido Esperanto

      I do agree

      that there is a touch of hypocrisy, but it appears all morals are drawn at one underlying factor.

      Money, or to be specific Greed.

      I'll remove names from the examples to highlight my point.

      Group 1 hacks various resources and obtains information -information is then made public

      Group 2 hacks various resources and obtains information -information is then made public

      Two scenarios completely the same right?

      Group 1 does this to provide content for its newspapers which it sells and makes profit

      Group 2 does it for the lulz

      As soon as money is involved and people making it, that gets people angry. As long as no money is made, people will laud you for it.

      t'is truly bizarre.

    4. Melvin Meatballs

      Difference in what you can do with it

      We take activities of LULZ/Anon etc with a pinch of salt because we all now that ultimately they are a bunch of bored teenagers. And it's kind of fun (sometimes) to watch bored teenagers do some mild mischief.

      News Int however are grown-ups who wield a degree of very real power. When their activities overstep an invisible point of public disgust, we have a scandal, a reaction, some minor shuffling at the top, or if proven-illegalities, some jail time.

      I doubt that Murdoch actually told his senior staff to break-the-law-to-sell-papers, but more likely created a highly-competitive culture with aspects of fear-driven success. Human ingenuity and flexible morality does the rest.

      And whilst a large proportion of the voting public happily believe what they read in the papers without engaging their brain, then our elected representatives will continue to attempt to court those that write the words.

      What is amusing/sad/overwhelmingly-wrong is that the disgust of the public is narrowed to focus on billionaires and politicians, rather than to reflect that it is their own lack of desire to think that allows/funds NI's corruption.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      You really don't get it do you!

      Murdoch's "evil" crew hacked and denied it all until exposed - which, thankfully, they have been - but not until a considerable amount of time has elapsed and much damage has been done.

      The "evil" LulzSec hack to EXPOSE (very quickly) the crap security that large corporations like News International and Sony use which, in many cases, is supposedly protecting the data they have on YOU AND ME.

      I'd rather LulzSec and Anonymous find the weaknesses NOW and reduce the potential long-term damage.

      Just my 2p worth.

      1. 5.antiago

        @ AC 12:37

        "I'd rather LulzSec and Anonymous find the weaknesses NOW and reduce the potential long-term damage"

        This is interesting I think. We're all watching and cheering now, but wait til the next generation of hactivists get stared. We'll have Christians hacking and PETA hacking into the FB accounts of people who step on snails.

        We won't be so keen on hacktivists then, when we don't agree with their message. And while I hope LulzSec continue to push site security up the agenda, I hope this ultimately cost us all some Internet freedoms after the backlash

        This whole thing here, hacking into the Sun, has implications for free speech and our rights to publish our views online

        1. 5.antiago


          " I hope this ultimately cost us all some Internet freedoms after the backlash"

          That should have read "I hope this DOESN'T ultimately cost us all some Internet freedoms after the backlash"

          Oooooooopsies :-( Maybe that little slip got me the thumbs down...

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge


        "Murdoch's "evil" crew hacked and denied it all until exposed - which, thankfully, they have been - "

        NI's SOP has been to deny *everything* and only admit *anything* when 3rd party material appears in public that they *cannot* deny.

        Otherwise they will continue to deny *everything* until the day (should it ever come) they are convicted, which they will no doubt play the "Public interest" card.

        Be clear to these people words like honesty and conscience are *exactly* that.

        Words. Nothing more.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      on morality

      This phone hacking scandal has been going on for a long time. Although it got a fair amount of coverage, noone actually gave a shit while it was just celebrities getting snooped on.

      Then it was reported that a murdered childs mailbox had been listened to, and indeed evidence compromised - at that point, suddenly people cared.

      If LulzSec interfered in a murder investigation, I believe they'd get the same response - so there doesn't actually seem to be a double-standard here.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Captialism v Lulz

      Reporters for NI hacked phones, bribed cops, and generally did a lot of underhanded things to get hold of private, personal and confidential information so they could turn that information into profit. They also deleted messages, interfering with a police investigation, just so they could improve their chances of retrieving something of interest for said stories.

      LulzSec redirected a web page to one they created as a spoof.

      They're not even remotely on the same level so no: No double standards here.

      LulzSec would have to break into systems and steal private, personal and confidential information with the intention of making a profit from that theft for the two to be comparable.

      That does not mean that LulzSec are saints: They're just a different grade of sinner.

      Anon for Irony.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Why the double standard?

      @Baked Beans: "doesn't anybody recognize the fantastic irony and hypocrisy of howling for Murdoch's blood for hacking .. while praising .. "Anonymous .. for doing the exact same thing on the other?

      They are not doing the exact same thing, one group is exposing lax security while the other makes money out of cynical and callous exploitation of people's private lives.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They protest against hacking by hacking. Great, keep up the good work.

    Alternatively, just sod off the internet and stop spoiling it for everyone else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Protesting is one thing, but hoovering up people's private details and publishing them is another.

    2. John G Imrie

      Re Err

      They get news stories by hacking dead kids phones. Great, keep up the good work.

      Alternatively, just sod off the planet and stop spoiling it for everyone else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I am hardly defending News Corp whose behaviour I find disgusting, I am just really fed up with Lulzsec/Anonymous. If they continue hacking/DDOSing everything they can get, it will spoil the internet for the rest of us when various governments decide that the general populous can't be trusted and clamp it down like China.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    The Iron Man of Fleet Street?

    Perhaps the Palladium reference stems from too much comic reading?

    1. PatientOne

      Or they're roll-players

      After all, there was a Palladium roll playing game....

      Hmmm.. Murdock dead by eating lots of books...

  15. Rob Crawford

    Palladium reference

    May well be referring to the the power source Arc reactor in the Iron Man (film version)

  16. Atonnis

    They only realised it was a fake story...

    ...when they realised it was far too well-written, concise and had more truth in it than your usual Sun story.

  17. Baked Beans
    Thumb Down

    Is Teh Greedz!

    You do know that Julian Assange tried to extort $700,000 from Amnesty International in exchange for redacting, "damage reduction" or whatever the smeg he calls it? He also views stolen data as intellectual property and has told journalists that they are not allowed to publish "his" material. That's fine and almost reasonable - after all he's gone to the effort to collect it, why shouldn't he consider it his?

    Now that is certainly funny and contrary to to the views of people who hero worship Assange but it makes no difference to me whether theft of private information is done for a purpose (money for Assange, journalism for the Guardian or both for the News of the World) or just for the sake of causing harm ("lulz" to borrow their cretinous language, which I don't find quite as charming as you do) it's still wrong.

    In other words motives are besides the point: if a group of people hacked, stole data and used it to exorcise banana spirits it's still wrong and two people are still carrying out the same actions and facing different verdicts. That doesn't belong under a rights respecting system like our own.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    How we laughed....

    As someone who had his Sony account ripped I must confess to finding the young tykes less than amusing.

    If they'd managed to remotely explode every NI terminal globally and fry its operator, I might have viewed them as a force for good.

  19. Baked Beans

    How I laughed

    Interesting confession: what you're saying is that "the little tykes" (who cause as much harm as they can for their own personal amusement) are in the wrong whenever they target YOU? So THAT is the double standard?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      How you laughed.

      No old bean, what I'm saying (obviously not very clearly) is I'm not fond of either side, regardless of circumstance. Calm down dear and easy with the shift key.

  20. itzman


    Paladinium, obviously.

    The Right Stuff, of which Paladins are made...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it possible that

    convicted criminals could appeal on the grounds that evidence was tampered/tainted by the hacking?

  22. Baked Beans

    I'm shift happy

    I may use it even more than seven times in the future. Frightening thought, huh?

  23. Walking Turtle


    Pal+Lady+ummm... An obvious invitation to Code It Out!

    Gotta' be sumpin' 'bout a Foam Face-Pie in the House... And that might just be all...

    Coat. And that is all. 0{;-)o<

  24. Anonymous Coward

    outsourced security

    It doesn't surprise me at all that hackers have compromised NI's security given that their infrastructure is now administered by HCL, of Noida, near New Delhi.

  25. Rex Alfie Lee

    Rest in pieces Rupert...

    Perhaps Rupert won't last much longer. One can only hope anyway...

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