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News Corp.’s Sun Tabloid Says Readers Details Stolen by Hacker

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- News Corp.’s U.K. unit told about 800 readers of its Sun tabloid that computer hackers may have stolen their home addresses, phone numbers and other personal details during an attack on the newspaper’s website.

News International is working with police on the matter, which affected readers who submitted information online for contests and polls sponsored by the newspaper. Police in London charged British teenager Jake Davis last week with attacking the Sun’s website and redirecting visitors to a false article saying News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch had died.

“We take customer data extremely seriously and are working with the relevant authorities to resolve this matter,” Daisy Dunlop, a spokeswoman for London-based News International, said today in a phone interview. “We are directly contacting any customer affected by this.”

Davis, from the Shetland Islands in Scotland, was released on bail yesterday. The 18-year-old was arrested last week and charged with conspiring to carry out a so-called denial of service attack on computers at the U.K.’s Serious Organised Crime Agency. Davis may also be the spokesman for the hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec, which have claimed credit for breaking into websites at Sony Corp. and the U.S. Senate, police said.

The investigation of the attack on the Sun’s website comes as U.K. police and British lawmakers probe the extent of phone-hacking by News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid, which the company shuttered in response to the scandal.

To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Larson in London at elarson4@bloomberg.net; Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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