LulzSec infiltrated the website of Rupert Murdoch’s “The Sun” tabloid, reappearing to condemn his News Corp.’s hacking scandal as hacktivists continue to comment on world politics.
The group today came out of retirement to hack the tabloid’s website, posting a fake article about media mogul Murdoch’s death by palladium ingestion on the front page.
LulzSec also tweeted contact details for former Sun editor and ex-News International CEO Rebekah Brooks, whom U.K. authorities arrested this weekend following tabloid News of the World’s voice mail hacking scandal. LulzSec also redirected The Sun and News of the World’s online readers to its Twitter feed before the papers blocked the links.
LulzSec’s reappearance on the hacking stage was a bit surprising, as the group officially disbanded June 25, ostensibly merging as part of the AntiSec hacktivist league. But the scandal around the paper’s hacking proved difficult to resist.
“I know we quit, but we couldn’t sit by with our wine watching this walnut-faced Murdoch clowning around,” said the group in a tweet.
LulzSec’s comment references the unfolding Murdoch News Corp. hacking scandal, which began with revelations that the organisation hacked into a murdered teenage girl’s voicemail, effectively hampering ongoing police investigations into her death.
Recent details surfaced last week when whistleblower Sean Hoare informed The New York Times his employer, the News Corp.-owned “News of the World” tabloid, hacked into voicemail accounts of victims from 9/11, terrorist bombings and even murder, besides spying on celebrities, the royal family and former prime ministers.
In the wake of this news, police found Hoare dead in his apartment, authorities arrested a handful of tabloid workers, and now Murdoch is set to answer questions before Parliament.
By seemingly commenting on the scandal, LulzSec follows in the footsteps of fellow hacking groups Anonymous and Sweden’s Pirate Party, which increasingly involve themselves in world politics and parlay high-profile hacks into platforms for political dissent.
Anonymous is well-known for politically-motivated hacks against what it considers corrupt governments and corporations. Recently, it went after authorities in Turkey when the government announced it would clamp down on the Internet this August. It also attacked police websites in Florida and Arizona over immigration and homelessness issues.
The group announced plans to form its own, uncensored social network soon after Google booted it from its new Google+ network. It also hinted that it aims to form a legitimate political party in the U.S.
Anonymous outlined this goal in a July video, commenting that the party would stand for governmental accountability, transparency and individual rights.
If Anonymous succeeds in this goal, the group may gain political clout that the Pirate Party enjoys in Sweden. The Party hosts the PirateBay.org, where many hackers congregate and post catches from their phishing exploits, and also advocates for Julian Assange’s whistleblowing site WikiLeaks. The Pirate Party even has seats in the EU government, though whether Anonymous could achieve the same distinction in the U.S. depends on many factors, public perception foremost among them.
By cracking into The Sun, LulzSec may demonstrate hackers’ aspirations to influence and comment upon world politics. The idea turned into reality in Sweden, and may take flight in U.S. in the future.