The fake news appears to be originating from hacker group OurMine.
Sony Music Entertainment caused a short frenzy early Monday morning when it sent a tweet that Britney Spears had died from its ficial Sony Music Global account.
"RIP @britneyspears," read the tweet shortly after 8 a.m. ET, which also had a frown-face emoji and the hashtag #RIPBritney. "1981-2016."
But the account followed up that tweet with a post that signaled to those following the news that the account had likely been hacked.
"Britney spears is dead by accident! we will tell you more soon," read the second tweet, again with the hashtag and frown emoji.
Thirty minutes later, several tweets posted from the account, with the group OurMine taking responsibility. By 9 a.m. today (Dec. 26), the Sony tweets had been deleted.
The hacker group has frequently targeted high-prile 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-prile hacks as a way to market and promote its security services.
Reps for Sony acknowledged but did not respond to a request for comment when reached by THR.
Singer Bob Dylan, apparently hacked as well after sending a tweet, since deleted, that read "Rest in peace @britneyspears" with the same emoji. The account then shared Sony's tweet and mentioned OurMine in subsequent, also deleted, posts. Dylan's reps could not immediately be reached for comment.
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