HACKTIVIST GROUPS Anonymous and Lulzsec have been busy lately, hacking Rupert Murdoch's tabloid rag The Sun, along with the NATO military alliance.
The hackers are sitting on an allegedly massive payload of internal emails from The Sun and some potentially devastating documents from NATO that could cause immense security risks in Europe. The question is, will they release these, and what more have the hackers in store for us?
The Sun, The Moon and The Stars
As the phone hacking scandal relating to the News of the World and other News Corporation titles rages on, Lulzsec decided to give them a little taste of their own medicine by hacking The Sun's web site late on Monday.
At first the web site redirected to a fake news story claiming that Murdoch had died, but when that was taken down Lulzsec redirected readers of The Sun to its Twitter feed. Eventually the web site was taken offline, but it is now back to normal. This hack was apparently planned for as long as two weeks.
However, Lulzsec did a lot more than just get 'news' readers to check out its tweets. It also put up phone numbers of News Corporation workers and promised that more would follow.
That more was hinted at by Anonymous, which revealed that it had gained access to emails from The Sun and News of the World. One member of the group, who goes by the handle Sabu, tweeted, "Sun/News of the world OWNED. We're sitting on their emails. Press release tomorrow." He said there was as much as 4GB of emails to expose.
At the last minute, however, Anonymous decided not to publish the emails, claiming "it may compromise the court case."
There appears to be some disagreement amongst certain members of Anonymous over this decision. A UK branch tweeted, "The court case was comprimised when NotW started paying the Met. It's down to us to exact justice, not the corrupt police."
It's not clear if the publication of such emails would in any way endanger the possibility of convictions over the hacking incidents, but it seems that Anonymous isn't willing to risk it.
We're not entirely sure why Anonymous decided to wait until the last minute to pull the plug on its plans, however. Surely it would have considered the possibility of the publication compromising the police investigation before hyping up the release.
This anticlimax leads us to question if Anonymous really had the emails in the first place, or if it does but never intended to publish them from the beginning. With the inquiry into hacking that has gone on this week, with the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks having been questioned in the House of Commons, Anonymous might have been playing scare tactics in order to get them and others to come clean about their alleged involvement.
This is not necessarily the end, however. After people expressed disappointment that the emails would not be published, Lulzsec tweeted, "We're currently working with certain media outlets who have been granted exclusive access to some of the News of the World emails we have."
The INQUIRER has asked for access to these emails.