Feeds

Hacked Sun site greatly exaggerates Murdoch's death

Sunday Times, other Murdoch sites, also down

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Hackers breached the security of Rupert Murdoch's Sun website and briefly redirected many visitors to a hoax article falsely claiming the tabloid media tycoon had been found dead in his garden.

The hack caused many people visiting thesun.co.uk to instead reach www.new-times.co.uk/sun/, which contained a story headlined "Media moguls [sic] body discovered". The breach came as several other Murdoch-owned sites, including The Times,The Sunday Times, newsinternational.co.uk, and rupertmurdoch.co.uk suffered outages that made them inaccessible. The domain name system servers used to revolve many of those sites weren't responding to queries at time of writing.

"Murdoch, aged 80, has said [sic] to have ingested a large quantity of palladium before stumbling into his famous topiary garden late last night, passing out in the early hours of the morning,” the bogus article claimed.

It came as Murdoch, a trusted lieutenant and UK police officials are under fire for a scandal in which reporters for News of the World, another Murdoch-owned newspaper, gained unauthorized access to voicemail accounts of murder victims and other individuals.

The Sun, hacked to redirect to hoax Rupert Murdoch story

Murdoch's death greatly exaggerated (click to enlarge)

The Sun, hacked to redirect to LulzSec Twitter page

LulzSec Twitter-page bragging (click to enlarge)

The redirections didn't work consistently, making it possible for many Sun visitors to reach the real site as intended. At time of writing, many attempts to reach the site caused redirects to the Twitter account of LulzSec, the prankster hacker collective that has made sport of attacking sites belonging to Sony, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other high-profile targets. LulzSec took responsibility for the Sun hack as well.

“It's not an easy thing to do,” Jeremiah Grossman, CTO of security firm WhiteHat Security, said of the redirection of The Sun's site. “If you can do that, you would classify it as being hacked.” It wasn't clear if the attackers had targeted the site's content management system, upstream provider, or another component.

DNS servers ns1.newsint.co.uk and ns0.newsint.co.uk, upon which the Murdoch-owned sites rely, did not respond to pings at time of writing. Trace routes to the servers' underlying IP addresses also failed.

Murdoch is scheduled to appear before a parliamentary committee on Tuesday to answer questions over voicemail breach at News International, his British newspaper division. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to everyone who sent in screenshots and reports.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.