Rupert Murdoch, the News Corporation boss currently embroiled in a rapidly spreading phone hacking scandal, got hacked himself today. Before it crashed from traffic, the website for his British newspaper The Sun was redirecting automatically to a replica of The Sun homepage (as seen above) featuring the headline [sic], “Media moguls body discovered.” The “report” reads, “Rupert Murdoch, the controversial media mogul, has reportedly been found dead in his garden, police announce,” and blames “a large quantity of palladium,” which Murdoch supposedly ingested “before stumbling into his famous topiary garden late last night, passing out in the early hours of the morning.” LulzSec, the hacker group, is claiming responsibility.
The site also featured a web comic with LulzSec references and imagery:
A look-up of the URL that LulzSec took over — http://www.new-times.co.uk/ (which appears to be down now) — shows that it’s been owned by News International, part of News Corp., since the year 2000:
News International Newspapers Limited
UK Limited Company, (Company number: 1885543)
NI Group Limited
3 Thomas More Square
News International Newspapers Limited [Tag = NEWSINT]
Registered on: 20-Sep-2000
Renewal date: 20-Sep-2012
Last updated: 10-Jun-2011
Here’s the full text of the hack:
Rupert Murdoch, the controversial media mogul, has reportedly been found dead in his garden, police announce.
Murdoch, aged 80, has said 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.
“We found the chemicals sitting beside a kitchen table, recently cooked,” one officer states. “From what we can gather, Murdoch melted and consumed large quantities of it before exiting into his garden.”
Chemicals found in house
Authorities would not comment on whether this was a planned suicide, though the general consensus among locals and unnamed sources is that this is the case.
One detective elaborates. “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.”
Another officer reveals that Murdoch was found slumped over a particularly large garden hedge fashioned into a galloping horse. “His favourite”, a butler, Davidson, reports.
Butler Davidson has since been taken into custody for additional questioning.
And at the very bottom of the page, one word: Lulz.
Update, 6:20 p.m.: LulzSec now says TheSun.co.uk redirects to their Twitter page, where they’ve even posted the email address and password of a Sun staffer.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 18, 2011