The Michael Jackson vault has been hacked! The Sony Music archive of Jackson material, including an unreleased collab with as well as a recording featuring the late Freddie Mercury of Queen, was compromised by wily computer nerds (or geniuses, depending on your perspective) who illegally downloaded 50,000 digital music files.

Execs at the label forked over a cool $250 million to the Jackson estate back in 2010 in order to gain access to the vaults, which included previously unheard material from studio sessions for albums like 'Thriller' and 'Bad.' To say that it is a treasure trove would be like saying that Jackson was just a pop singer!

There is a lot of valuable intellectual material in the archive and the powers-that-be really wanted to get their hands on it. Can't say we blame 'em, since Jackson was one of the most beloved pop artists of the modern era. Given the circumstances of his tragic death in 2009, any unheard material increased exponentially in value.

The Sunday Times (courtesy of WENN) reports that everything the label purchased from the late King of Pop's estate was infiltrated. The source revealed, "It caused them to check their systems and they found the breach. There was a degree of sophistication. Sony identified the weakness and plugged the gap."

Whether or not the hackers were caught and how they will be prosecuted remains TBD. But at least the hole in the dam has been plugged, even if temporarily.

The poor King of Pop can barely rest in peace. Between the drama surrounding the trial of his doctor Conrad Murray and now this, Jackson remains embroiled in controversy. Can't a beloved pop star be left alone while in the afterlife?