Sony Music’s Twitter account saw a post stating that pop star Britney Spears is dead. The Twitter handle saw different posts, all of which addressed the sudden demise of Britney Spears.
Bob Dylan also appeared to have tweeted about the same incident, and it was evident that Dylan’s account was also hacked. While Britney Spears’ fans were wondering, what was happening, her manager, Adam Leber came out to issue a statement that revealed that hackers had compromised the Twitter account of Sony Music.
Leber assured fans that Britney Spears was very much alive. He claimed the rumor of Spears’ death to be antics of some internet clowns. This incident wasn’t the first time that the social media was full of news about fake deaths.
Avril Lavigne was one celebrity, who has had a similar fate. She was rumored to have died while on a ski vacation with her family. Recently even Queen Elizabeth II was rumored to be dead according to a fake BBC News tweet.
The page had a BBC News logo which forced people into believing that it was the official page for the news agency. However, those who follow the original Twitter handle realized that it was a fake profile. The fake BBC News account was removed, but after they had convinced numerous fans that the Queen was dead.
Twitter users sent their condolences to the royal family, while many expressed their shock at the news. Gossip Cop reported that the story was fake since the death in the royal family would also be confirmed by the official Buckingham Palace page and they didn’t post any information on the Queen’s death.
NY Daily News confirmed that Sony Music Entertainment’s Twitter account was indeed compromised. The company also apologized to Britney Spears and her fans. The company informed that they had rectified the mistake and strict action will be taken against the perpetrators.
SMH reported that the hackers also targetted Bob Dylan’s account since he happens to be a Sony artist. The company’s spokesperson claimed that the suspicious tweets were followed by missives that connected them to the security group, OurMine, who are well-known for hacking high-profile Twitter accounts.
They hack the accounts to advertise something in particular or to bring to notice the lack of security. Reports claim that OurMine didn’t hack Sony Music’s account and they had, in fact, visited the site to make sure if the tweets were original.
OurMine informed Mashable that they hadn’t hacked Sony Music’s Twitter account and had only visited the page to confirm if it was indeed hacked and to check the authenticity of the tweets.
Sony Music tweeted that they have seen new IP logged into the account after the Britney Spears’ death rumors were posted, which goes on to suggest that the account was hacked. They even published a screenshot of the IP login information to make it clear that they were hacked and hence had no control on what was being posted on their official page.
There was a similar incident in November 2014, where Sony’s motion picture account was hacked, and information on then executive Amy Pascal’s exit from the company was leaked. On further investigation, it was revealed that a group of hackers from North Korea was responsible for the incident.