Members of the hacking group LulzSec claim to have accessed News International emails, the Guardian reports. Early this morning, a LulzSec member who goes by the name the Real Sabu posted on Twitter that the group had obtained 4 GB of emails taken from the Sun, a News International tabloid, as well as from the Royal Family, federal contractors, foreign banks, and others. The emails could be released as early as Thursday.
Tuesday night, LulzSec members apparently broke into News International computer systems and redirected readers to a fake page reporting the death of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.
News International reacted to the major security breach by closing down all external access to its webmail system and asking all of its employees to reset their passwords. The company wouldn’t comment on whether it believed that the hackers had penetrated email accounts, but the fact that it shut down access to the system suggests that the company feared they might have, says the Guardian, and the hackers probably wouldn’t have begun tweeting about the information they stole without having first examined it.
The hacking group Anonymous also claims to have gained access to the News International email database. Anonymous members began tweeting the email accounts and passwords of News of the World staffers, including an old email address and password for Rebekah Brooks. According to the Guardian, the password appeared to be authentic, as the tweet contained the password’s encrypted form.
People within Anonymous told the Guardian that they were probing News International’s email database last week and that the downloads were being made then.