The LulzSec hackers have come out of retirement to take on the world's top media mogul, Rupert Murdoch.
At about 5:30 p.m. EST Monday (July 18), the recently disbanded hacking group began redirecting Web traffic from The Sun's website, thesun.co.uk, to a fake news story called "Media Mogul's Body Discovered."
The story claimed that Murdoch was found dead in his garden after ingesting "a large quantity of palladium before stumbling into his famous topiary garden late last night."
The phony article added that Murdoch's death was a suicide, and that, "Officers on the scene report a broken glass, a box of vintage wine, and what seems to be a family album strewn across the floor, containing images from days gone by; some containing handpainted portraits of Murdoch in his early days, donning a top hat and monocle."
(The top hat and monocle are clever and not-so-subtle nods to LulzSec's mascot, a freewheeling aesthete who wears the same old-fashioned accessories. "Topiary" is also the online name of one of Lulzsec's leaders, and "palladium" may be an erroneous reference to polonium, a highly radioactive metal allegedly used by Russian agents to poison a Russian dissident in London several years ago.)
On its Twitter page, LulzSec claimed responsibility for the hack, writing "The Sun's homepage now redirects to the Murdoch death story on the recently-owned New Times website. Can you spell success, gentlemen?" The Twitter post ended with the hashtag #MurdochMeltdownMonday.
The New Times website, www.new-times-co.uk, is currently offline.
Also in the hack, LulzSec leaked the usernames and passwords of Sun staff members. And shortly after, at about 6:15 p.m. EST, LulzSec redirected all traffic from The Sun directly to its Twitter page, @LulzSec.
The hack marks the surprising return of Lulz Security, which, after 50 days of wreaking havoc on the Web by hacking PBS, the C.I.A., the U.S. Senate and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, called it quits on June 26.
Famous in its short lifespan for attacking high-profile targets, it's no surprise Murdoch and the voicemail hacking scandal in which he's currently embroiled stirred the LulzSec crew to act.