So when a hacker took control over Bob Dylan and Sony Music’s Twitter accounts to Tweet that Britney Spears was dead, fans were understandably horrified.
As Billboard points out, the Tweet read: “RIP @britneyspears,” sent after 8 a.m. ET, which also had a frown-face emoji and the hashtag #RIPBritney. “1981-2016.”
It posted a second Tweet, which gave the Britney Army reason to believe something wasn’t right: “Britney spears is dead by accident! we will tell you more soon,” they said.
Fans of the pop star quickly did their homework. Fitness guru Sam Asghari, who was featured in the “Slumber Party” music video, posted an Insta story on Sunday of him and Britney in bed together goofing around with a Snapchat filter.
“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.”
Both of the Tweets were swiftly scrubbed from the social media platform, with hacker group OurMine taking responsibility for the hijacking.
The hacker group has frequently targeted high-profile accounts over the past year, including Marvel’s Twitter accounts, as well as Netflix’s Twitter account, in the same day last week. In September, the group gained access to Variety’s website and email system, sending multiple messages to subscribers with the subject line “Hacked by #OurMine.”
The group is ostensibly using the high-profile hacks as a way to market and promote its security services.