Feeds

Sky News election petition defaced by prankster hackers

Windbag windup

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Computer hackers with a grudge made merry at the expense of Rupert Murdoch after infiltrating the Sky News website.

The scamps tampered with a petition in support of Sky's campaign to stage a debate between the leaders of Britain's main political parties in the run-up to the next general election. A picture of Brown, Cameron and Clegg was replaced by a beaming mugshot of Rupert Murdoch, Sky's founder.

The petition itself was renamed the "Windbag Debate Petition". Underneath that was included "five reasons this debate idea stinks" and, perhaps by way of counter-argument, the statement that a "TV debate could be sudden political death - bring it on!".

The defacement was live for a few hours before it was replaced by the original "The Leaders' Debate Petition" at around 2200 on Thursday, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The Daily Telegraph story carries a screen-capture of the defacement. Normally hackers deface the front page of websites with digital graffiti. The Sky attack was more subtle and sophisticated than that.

An (earnest) Sky spokesman told the paper: "No temporary disturbance will get in the way of a campaign that has already got more than 9,000 people signed up to it. The case for a debate remains undiminished."

Sky News has written to leaders of the three main UK political parties inviting them to take part in a live television debate, which would be a first in a British election campaign. The scheme is designed to help British voters to become more engaged in the political process, following the expenses scandal earlier this year and steadily declining turn-out numbers for years.

David Cameron, leader of the Conservatives, and Nick Clegg of the Lib Dems have accepted their invitations. Gordon Brown is yet to respond. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.