CyberCrimeSecurity

Sony Music Apologises For Britney Death Tweet

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Sony says sorry after hack of Twitter account, which was then used to claim that Britney Spears had died

Pop fans will be pleased to know that the year 2016 has not claimed Britney Spears as another celebrity death, after Sony Music Entertainment admitted that its Twitter account had been hacked.

Following the hack, the Sony Music twitter account then published fake reports that pop icon Britney Spears had died

The entertainment firm then went to apologise to both Britney Spears and her fans, and said it had rectified the situation.

Julien Tromeur - Twitter Sorry

Twitter Hack

CNN reported that Sony Music’s Twitter account had been hacked on Monday, after it posted two tweets claiming Spears had died,

“RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney 1981-2016” and “Britney spears is dead by accident! We will tell you more soon #RIPBritney,” the tweets said. The tweets have since been deleted.

“I assume their account has been hacked,” Spears’ manager, Adam Leber, told CNN. “I haven’t spoken to anyone… as of yet but I am certain their account was hacked. Britney is fine and well. There have been a few Internet clowns over the years who have made similar claims about her death, but never from the official Sony Music Twitter account.”

Sony Music then issued a short statement that confirmed its social media account had been “compromised” but it said the situation “has been rectified.”

The company said it “apologizes to Britney Spears and her fans for any confusion,” the firm reportedly said.

It is also thought that the Twitter account of music icon Bob Dylan may also have been subjected to a hoax, when it reportedly sent out a now-deleted tweet reading “Rest in peace @britneyspears.”

Sony Hacks

Sony Music is of course a unit of Sony, and another of its units, Sony Pictures Entertainment, was the victim of a devastating cyber attack in November 2014.

The hack came as Sony Pictures prepared to release “The Interview”, a comedy about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The hack penetrated Sony Pictures’ internal network and led to the leak of unreleased films, as well as the publication of embarrassing internal documents, including the salary details of top executives and personal information on Hollywood celebrities.

The hackers later threatened attacks upon cinemas who released the film, and as a result most major cinema chains declined to screen the film, forcing Sony to pull the film, a decision that Hollywood stars and President Obama condemned. Following that, Sony released the film in a small number of independent cinemas and it was also distributed online by Sony, Microsoft, Google and Apple.

President Obama and US authorities quickly identified North Korea as being behind the attack. His administration vowed that it would “respond proportionately”, and it took North Korea’s Internet access offline in retaliation.

Are you a security expert? Try our quiz!