Has Britney Spears had her Twitter account phished?

(Read the update to this story: Twitter: Britney, Barack, Rick and Fox News weren’t phished – they were hacked).

Could Britney Spears, the troubled pop princess, have become the victim of the phishing scams that have shaken Twitter users in the last few days?

I just visited her page on Twitter and saw the following update, which I find unlikely to have been approved by her management team who are taking care to control her public image as she rebuilds her career:

At approximately 17:30 UK time the message was removed – but clearly this is a sign that someone broke into her account. Whether this was a result of the current Twitter phishing attacks or not is hard to prove, but it seems a strange coincidence if not.

Other Twitter accounts which have had bizarre messages posted to them include ones belonging to Barack Obama’s election campaign, Fox News and CNN anchorman Rick Sanchez.

In a Twitter update which has since been deleted, Sanchez’s account – which is followed by some 40,000 people – displayed the message:

i am high on crack right now might not be coming into work today

The message is clear. Whether you are world famous, a business organisation, or a general member of the public, you have to be much more careful about securing your online presence.

Hackers may have hooted with joy at realising they had the power to post messages under the names of Britney Spears or Fox News, but normally their intentions are to hurt people in the pocket through scams and identity theft.

If you believe you may have clicked on a link to a possible phishing site, and think it is possible that you may have given your password to someone else or that account may have been compromised, change your password now.

Twitter confirms multiple accounts hacked

At about 18.30 UK time, Twitter posted an update on one of its blogs in an attempt to reassure users, confirming that multiple accounts had been hacked and advising members that it may be prudent to reset their passwords.

Statement from Twitter

Hopefully Ms Spears and Mr Sanchez are amongst those doing that right now.

(Read the update to this story: Twitter: Britney, Barack, Rick and Fox News weren’t phished – they were hacked).