News International fell victim to computer hackers as a group targeted The Sun's website.
Hacking collective LulzSec, which has previously targeted companies including Sony, claimed it carried out the hijack, via messages on Twitter.
Visitors to The Sun's site last night were redirected to a hoax story about Rupert Murdoch's suicide.
Internet users trying to access thesun.co.uk 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 was re-directing to LulzSec's Twitter account, which claimed to be displaying "hacked internal Sun staff data" in one entry.
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 cyberattack that shut down The Times' website.
LulzSec is a group of hackers that has 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.
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.