Two years after the devastating Christmastime hack of its movie studio, the Sony corporation had a significantly smaller breach — on its Twitter account, which falsely reported pop star Britney Spears was dead.
The erroneous claim about the singer sent her fans and social media spiraling on Monday morning.
“RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney 1981-2016,” a tweet from Sony Music Global’s account read. Shortly after, a Twitter account belonging to the estate of Bob Dylan shared its condolences.
Both accounts were hacked by online group OurMine, according to Billboard, which obtained screen grabs of the tweets deleted by Sony Music roughly two hours after they were posted.
Representatives for Spears confirmed the mother of two is alive and well, CNN’s AnneClaire Stapleton said.
A Sony Music spokesperson was not immediately reachable for comment. Spears is signed to Sony, a longtime flagship artist of its now-disbanded label Jive Records.
OurMine has take credit for numerous high-profile hacks of late, including Marvel Studios, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, his sister, Randi, Spotify founder Daniel Ek, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, and actor-producer Channing Tatum.
“We are not blackhat hackers, we are just a security group…we are just trying to tell people that nobody is safe,” an anonymous member of the group told Wired magazine in a June profile.
Britney Spears is alive and well, her rep tells CNN. It appears @SonyMusicGlobal erroneously tweeted her death. Sony rep says no comment
— AnneClaire Stapleton (@AnneClaireCNN) December 26, 2016