A number of high-profile music videos disappeared from YouTube and had their titles and hold images defaced, after the video streaming website was targeted by hackers.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito is the most viewed YouTube video of all time, with more than 5bn views, but temporarily disappeared from the site and had its hold image replaced by a photograph of a masked gang holding guns. Hackers calling themselves Prosox and Kuroi’sh replaced the description beneath the video with: “Free Palestine.”
The hackers also defaced videos by artists including Taylor Swift, Adele, Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, Eminem, Maroon 5, Shakira, Selena Gomez, DJ Snake, Drake and Chris Brown.
All the affected videos were uploaded to YouTube artist accounts associated with the video hosting service Vevo. It is unclear whether hackers accessed individual accounts or Vevo as a whole. One of the hackers claims they used a script to change the video titles.
The hacker Prosox tweeted at Vevo suggesting that their security protections were weak and claimed that they did not delete Despacito.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee have not responded to Despacito’s deletion. The Hacker News reports that Kuroi’sh is the same hacker who recently targeted Now This news and the BBC’s Arabic news Twitter feed.
The videos appear to be back online. Vevo said in a statement: “Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalogue were subject to a security breach today, which has now been contained. We are working to reinstate all videos affected and our catalogue to be restored to full working order. We are continuing to investigate the source of the breach.”