The Sun’s website has been targeted by computer hackers. LulzSec, which has previously attacked companies including Sony, claimed it carried out the hijack.
Visitors to The Sun’s site were redirected to a hoax story about Rupert Murdoch’s suicide.
Internet users trying to access thesun.co.uk on Monday night were taken to new-times.co.uk and a story entitled “Media mogul’s body discovered”.
It suggested that Mr Murdoch had been found after he had “ingested a large quantity of palladium”.
After that site stopped working, The Sun address redirected users to LulzSec’s Twitter account, which claimed to be displaying “hacked internal Sun staff data” in one entry.
At around midnight LulzSec posted on Twitter: “”TheSun.co.uk now redirects to our twitter feed. Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun! How is your day? Good? Good!”
A News International spokeswoman confirmed the company was “aware” of what was happening, but made no further comment.
The Sun’s website later appeared to have been taken down.
Another hacking collective known as Anonymous claimed a cyber attack that shut down The Times’s website.
LulzSec hackers have claimed responsibility for various high-profile computer attacks on bodies including FBI partner organisations, the CIA, the US Senate and a pornography website.
In the UK it also carried out a distributed denial of service attack – where large numbers of computers overload a target with web requests – on the Serious and Organised Crime Agency website.
Last month LulzSec announced it was disbanding after 50 days, only days after it had threatened to escalate its cyber attacks and steal classified information from government, banks and other major establishments.
The group’s name comes from the word lulz, which is online slang for laughter at someone else’s expense. Its logo is a cartoon man in a top hat and monocle, holding a glass of wine.