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News Corp. e-mails could be in hands of 'hacktivists'

USA Today, By, Byron Acohido

A group of hackers that has bedeviled companies and governments all summer emerged Thursday as a potentially explosive wild card in the British tabloid scandal.

On Thursday, hacktivist group LulzSec claimed, via Twitter postings, to be in possession of a 4-gigabyte cache of archived e-mails stolen from News Corp., the media giant accused of hiring hackers to break into the cellphone voice mails of murder victims, celebrities and 9/11 victims.

However, with law enforcement stepping up arrests of alleged members of the notorious Anonymous hacking cooperative, LulzSec's leaders indicated they had no plans to publicly post any of the stolen e-mails, at least not yet.

Doing so could further escalate the tabloid scandal, as well as the scrutiny surrounding News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch. The e-mails could shed light on whether senior News Corp. executives truly had no knowledge of the voice-mail snooping, as they claim, says Josh Shaul, chief technical officer at Application Security.

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