Britney Spears has her Twitter account hacked again

Filed Under: Social networks, Twitter

Britney Spears
Just over two months ago I explained on Twitter why I was following Britney Spears. In a nutshell, I follow Britney on Twitter not because I'm interested in her music or her complicated private life, but because it's the best way of getting a heads-up on when her account next gets hacked.

Ironically enough, I wasn't on Twitter today as I was down in London speaking at the "Information Security in the Public Sector" conference about social networking threats.

So, where's the irony? Well, while I was talking about some of Britney's past troubles on Twitter her account was being hacked - again!

This time the bad guys replaced her wallpaper and profile picture with emblems suggesting she was part of some conspiratorial masonic secret world government (as far as I know, this isn't true about Britney, although I have sometimes suspected she might be a shape-shifting lizard):

Some messages were also posted to her legions of followers (over 3.7 million at the last count);

i hope that the new world order will arrive as soon as possible! -Britney

and

I give myself to Lucifer every day for it to arrive as quickly as possible. Glory to Satan!

I guess we should be grateful that this hack appears to have been mindless vandalism rather than motivated by more malicious intentions. Imagine, for example, if the hacker had posted a message saying "Free tickets to a secret concert" which had taken some of Britney Spears's millions of ardent fans to a malicious website?

It's not clear at this stage how Britney's Twitter account was compromised - but probably the most likely bet is that a simple easy-to-crack password was being used or that one of Britney's team fell for a phishing attack.

The Twitter account of Britney Spears does appear to have now been brought back to order, and an apology was posted to her followers:

Apology from Britney Spears

However the attack happened it's a timely reminder to all of us (whether responsible for Twitter accounts with a small or huge following) to take greater care with our online security.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.