In another blow to Rupert Murdoch-owned News International, it has now been revealed that personal details of thousands of people who entered competitions on The Sun's website had been copied by one or more hackers.
News International, which owns The Sun, made the revelation in an email sent out on Monday evening.
The hacked details are reportedly being posted on a popular site among hackers for posting public messages anonymously.
In the email, the director of customer data for News International, Chris Duncan, says that in a hacking attack on 19 July – when a fake story claiming that Rupert Murdoch was dead was planted on the site – "some customer information from competitions and polls was breached".
Among the details are names, addresses, date of birth, email and phone numbers.
"No financial or password information was compromised," Duncan writes.
Duncan said that News International was working closely with the police and the information commissioner "to ensure that all steps are taken to retrieve the files involved".
In a statement, News International said: "We take customer data extremely seriously and are working with the relevant authorities to resolve this matter. We are directly contacting any customer affected by this."
The personal published on a site called Pastebin appear to have been released by a hacker who on Twitter calls himself Batteye, reports said.
Batteye wrote on Pastebin that "Mankind makes mistakes. Mankind is all the better for them. Mankind learns from them. Some people, however, do not learn. Until these people are pruned by natural selection, incarceration, or otherwise, then mankind will not develop.
We will remain prey to the 'malicious' type of hacker that steals credit card information, or deletes voicemail messages and pushing the victims family to grieve more for their loved ones."
"This is unacceptable... We will begin today be presenting to you, various files obtained from the Sun, a company within the News Corp group. We will continue, then, by exposing the world for what it is; a less than perfect place where we cannot trust those who we ask to protect our information."