Personal details of Sun readers hacked
PERSONAL details of Sun newspaper readers - including Miss Scotland applicants - have been stolen by hackers in the latest online security breach.
Britain's biggest selling daily has sent out e-mails warning that information, including addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers, have been accessed. But it added: "No financial or password information was compromised."
News Group Newspapers, which also published the News of the World until it closed last month, said the breach took place on 18 to 19 July, at about the time hackers created a link from the Sun's website to a spoof page that said company owner Rupert Murdoch had been found dead in his garden.
Hacking group LulzSec claimed to be behind that breach but has been silent since alleged spokesman Jake Davis, 18, from Shetland, was arrested on 28 July. Davis faces a string of charges relating to the hacking of organisations such as Sony, the CIA and the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency, allegedly carried out by LulzSec and another group, Anonymous.
However, a Twitter user, Batteye, has claimed responsibility for taking the Sun readers' details, denied being part of either LulzSec or Anonymous and said the theft took place before 18 July.
Some of the information, including a Scottish students' poll and biographies of Miss Scotland applicants, then appeared on the website Pastebin.
One Miss Scotland entrant said: "I'm not happy at all. I'm kind of worried - because that's everything about me.
"(This data] should have been locked up. This was last year's, so they didn't need to keep my details."
The Batteye post said it was an attempt to expose those who could not be trusted with personal information.
The statement on Pastebin said: "We will begin today by presenting to you various files obtained from the Sun, a company within the News Corp group.
"We will continue, then, by exposing the world for what it is; a less than perfect place where we cannot trust those who we ask to protect our information."
On Twitter, Batteye posted a message saying: "OK - Anon and @lulzsec may have carried out their own attack, with defacements, emails, and whatnot. This is different."
The hacking of the Sun's website follows hacking by sister newspaper the News of the World of celebrities, politicians, war widows and victims of crime, including murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
The so-called "hacktivist" code deployed by the likes of LulzSec, combines mischief-making or irony with the aggressive targeting of corporations or large organisations they believe are guilty of wrongdoing.
Chris Duncan, who e-mailed the Sun website users on behalf of News Group Newspapers, apologised that security had not been tight enough to stop the breach."We regret that we've not been able to stop this incident from happening," he wrote.
"We'll update you directly if there are further developments relating to your specific data."
A News International spokeswoman said: "We take customer data extremely seriously and are working with the relevant authorities to resolve this matter."
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