Sony Twitter accounts were hacked to post fake messages announcing the death of pop singer Britney Spears.
Sony Twitter accounts were hacked to post fake messages announcing the death of pop singer Britney Spears.

A Twitter account belongint to Britney Spears was hacked and fake messages posted announcing the pop star's death. The tweets, posted early Monday morning and since deleted, were fake.

An account belonging to her record label, Sony Music Global, was penetrated by an attacker at 5:13 a.m. and then again at 5:20 a.m. EST. The first tweet read: “RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney 1981-2016.” The message was followed by an emoji indicating a crying person. A second tweet appeared a few minutes later reading: "Britney spears is dead by accident! We will tell you more soon #RIPBritney," with the same sad-faced emoji. Spears' account reportedly has 614,000 followers.

A half hour later, the OurMine hacking group seemed to take responsibility for the messaging with two more tweets posted via the Sony Music Global Twitter account. Calling themselves an "elite hacking group," on its website OurMine purports to illustrate weaknesses in systems as a demonstration of their expertise in patching vulnerabilities and securing accounts.

Bob Dylan's Twitter account also was hacked to post a tweet: “Rest in peace @britneyspears” with the tearful emoji.

All the hacked tweets were removed by 9 a.m. by the record label, which controls the accounts. Sony Music issued a statement acknowledging that its Twitter account was “compromised” and apologized to Spears and her fans.

The OurMine collective previously claimed it hacked the Twitter account of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accounts at Marvel and Netflix, as well as those of several high-profile personalities.