July 19, 2011 at 12:01 PM ET
Hackers involved in Monday's defacement of Rupert Murdoch's Sun news website and take-down of related news sites owned by Murdoch, reportedly are in the midst of releasing phone numbers, emails, email account names and passwords of some of Murdoch's News International staff, including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.
Monday night, in a tweet he shared the user name and password belonging to Brooks. "It appears that the password was 63000, the number of The Sun's 'Send My Story' tip line — not a very clever password to choose," said British-based Security Watchdog.
The Register said that LulzSec "also posted the supposed password hash — but not the password — of Bill Akass, former managing editor of the News of the World," the Murdoch newspaper that was shuttered earlier this month in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked Britain, with Murdoch and many others testifying Tuesday before Parliament.
"The hackers also posted mobile phone numbers of three News International execs," the Register said. "This information seems to have come from, at best, an old database. The Telegraph reports that one of the phone numbers belongs to Pete Picton, a former online editor with The Sun who left to work on News Corp's iPad-only publication, The Daily, last year. Another phone number belongs to Chris Hampartsoumian, an IT worker, who said via Twitter that he didn't work for any News Corp firm."
British-based security firm Sophos said Tuesday that the Sun's website "still appears to be suffering problems. Websites belonging to The Times, The Sunday Times, and News International also appear to be experiencing difficulties. It's likely that News International's own IT team have brought down the sites to prevent any further damage being done."
The Guardian reported Tuesday that News International "took its remote access and webmail systems offline for 12 hours, and is resetting the passwords for all users after the company's systems were breached by members of the hacking group LulzSec.
"The hackers appear to have gained access to the database with email and password details, some of which were published online last night on the Twitter accounts of some of LulzSec's members."
The newspaper said Sun staffers' remote access to the site has now been restored according to a note that was sent to staff. The note, which the Guardian said it viewed, reads: "All staff will be prompted to reset their password on next login. Please note the password complexity required: Minimum of 8 characters; letters and numbers; upper and lower case. Staff should also be aware that Citrix remote access, Webmail and email to iPad, iPhone and Android devices is currently offline."
LulzSec, which supposedly had disbanded, and hacking group Anonymous have worked together in recent months to conduct hacks, denial-of-service attacks and other Web trouble for governments and private corporations they deem to be corrupt.
Anonymous gained notoriety for its denial-of-service attacks on Visa and MasterCard late last year. Those attacks were retribution, Anonymous said, because the companies halted online donations during the WikiLeaks controversy, blocking contributions to Bradley Manning, the accused document leaker now in custody.