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Hacked Sony Music Tweets Britney Spears ‘Death’ Hoax

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Sony Music has confirmed several tweets announcing Britney Spears’ demise were the result of a ‘compromise’

Sony Music Global has confirmed its Twitter account was hacked, with attackers posting messages saying that singer Britney Spears had died.

The attackers posted two separate messages, stating “RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney 1981-2016” with a crying face emoticon and “Britney spears is dead by accident! We will tell you more soon #RIPBritney”.

IBM

Hoax messages

Spears’ official Twitter account remained silent but the official Twitter account of Bob Dylan, which is also operated by Sony Music, posted a tweet reading “Rest in peace @britneyspears” at roughly the same time as the other two messages.

In addition to those messages a fourth, claiming to have been posted by hacker group OurMine, appeared on Sony Music Global’s Twitter account saying it had been accessed by another hacker.

OurMine has previously hijacked the social media accounts of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales as well as publications BuzzFeed and Forbes and tends to use the hacks to advertise its own security consulting services.

Sony Music confirmed late on Monday its Twitter accounts had been “compromised” and said the problem had been “rectified”.

Social media target

“Sony Music apologises to Britney Spears and her fans for any confusion,” the company stated.

Spears’ representatives earlier on Monday had confirmed she was still alive, but the hoax tweets come at the end of a year that saw the deaths of a number of well-known pop stars including David Bowie and George Michael, 53, who died of heart failure in his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day.

Sony has been a favoured target for hackers, who hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment in November 2014 and released private documents to the public, then disrupted its PlayStation Network online gaming platform during Christmas of the same year.

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