NEW YORK — It appears the NFL’s Twitter account was compromised Tuesday by a hacker who announced, falsely, to the world that the football league’s commissioner had died.
“We regret to inform our fans that our commissioner, Roger Goodell, has passed away,” a tweet from the NFL’s verified account. “He was 57. #RIP”
That message was up for about 4 minutes before it was deleted.
Then the hacker responded, through the agency’s account.
“Oi, I said Roger Goodell has died. Don’t delete that tweet,” the second message read.
It was followed shortly after by a third tweet.
“OK, OK, you amateur detectives win. Good job,” the message read.
But Goodell is far from dead, according to an NFL spokesman.
“The @nfl Twitter account was hacked,” Brian McCarthy wrote. “@nflcommish is alive and well.”
Still, Goodell’s Wikipedia reflected the false news even after the messages were scrubbed from the league’s account. Under cause of death, the page read “Deflated lungs,” in an apparent nod to so-called Deflategate in which Goodell punished Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged involvement in tampering with footballs used during the 2015 AFC Champsionship Game.
Goodell used the same platform to poke fun at the hoax.
“Man, you leave the office for 1 day of golf w/ @JimKelly1212 & your own network kills you off. #harsh,” he wrote.
The NFL’s infiltration is the latest in what appears to be a string of hacks on high-profile individuals and agencies. Drake and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were targeted by hackers early this week.
And soon after the NFL’s account was compromised, Lana Del Rey’s Twitter appeared to be hacked.
The messages didn’t last long on the singer’s account but a Google search result for her Twitter page showed apparently hacked tweets, including one that read “bush did 911.”
According to cyber security expert Peter Tran, the hackers could range from sophisticated and well-financed groups to a teen looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
“It could be just a simple individual that has an affiliation, a desire to make that statement and be know,” Tran told PIX11 News.
Twitter officials are working to determine whether the recent release of data from the 2013 hacks of LinkedIn, MySpace and Tumblr have any connection to the surge in Twitter hacks, Mashable reports.
PIX11 News’ Andrew Ramos contributed to this report.