Hackers Vow to Release News Corp. E-mails

by Greg Pollowitz

So, which media outlets are working to get these hacked News Corp. e-mails?

After three months of defacing websites and dumping stolen data in anarchic fashion, the hacker group LulzSec may be taking a more subtle approach to its promised release of hacked emails from Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-ridden News Corp: A WikiLeaks-like partnership with the media.

That, at least, is the surprising claim the usually-chaotic hacker group made in its Twitter feed Thursday: “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.”

Earlier this week members of LulzSec and the larger hacker group Anonymous defaced the website of the News Corp-owned paper The Sun in retaliation for the phone-hacking and cover up that took place at its sister paper, the now-defunct News Of The World. The hackers claimed that they had obtained a trove of emails from the two tabloids, and even began posting the email addresses and passwords of prominent employees of the papers on Twitter. News International, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., responded by temporarily shutting down all of its websites to prevent further hacks.

Since then, however, LulzSec has seemed unusually conflicted about dumping its stolen goods. After initially claiming that it was taking time to redact the data, LulzSec hacker Sabu announced that the data would be released Thursday at 1pm Greenwich Mean Time. Just minutes later, an Anonymous-related twitter feed declared that it wouldn’t publish the data at all, fearing that it would compromise the legal proceedings against News International. But LulzSec soon amended that statement to announce its partnership with the media to release the emails, without any further explanation.

That wavering and uncertainty over the data release contrasts sharply with LulzSec’s previous behavior, when the group went on a fifty-day rampage, releasing internal data from PBS, Sony, military contractors and security firms on an almost-daily basis.

I can’t wait to see which media outlets actually print the stolen e-mails and how they justify their outrage at what NOTW did in comparison to their reporting.