A hacker has broken into Britney Spears' Twitter account and posted a tweet announcing that she is dead.
The hacker posted the message: "Britney has passed today. It is a sad day for everyone. More news to come."
A message has since been posted saying that the tweet is not true.
Graham Cluley, at security supplier Sophos, said in his blog that the fake message was sent to Britney's followers on Twitter via TwitPic.
"Interestingly, the fake story of Britney's death was posted to her Twitter followers via the TwitPic service, which automatically forwards messages to the associated Twitter account. There are a number of ways in which you can post a message on TwitPic - which is then echoed on Twitter - including logging on to the service or sending a picture to a unique e-mail address," said Cluley.
"It is possible that last method of updating TwitPic may be the prime suspect in this case, as the service just tweeted that they have fixed a vulnerability with their e-mail posting functionality."
He said TwitPic relies on a four-digit Pin that could be cracked through a brute force attack.