Hackers took down the most watched YouTube video of all-time for several hours

By | 10th April 2018

Vivo hack

  • YouTube’s Vevo network targeted by hackers.
  • Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito”, the most-viewed video YouTube video of all-time, was taken offline for over two hours.
  • Videos by Drake, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and more also defaced.

Some of the most popular music videos on YouTube were defaced by hackers earlier today. Several videos connected to the Vevo network from artists such as Drake, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Selena Gomez were affected, as well as Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito”, which is YouTube’s most-viewed video of all-time.

“Despacito”, which has been viewed over five billion times, was unavailable to view for over two hours. The thumbnail image (above) had also been changed to a still of masked, armed robbers taken from the Netflix show Money Heist.

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The descriptions and titles of some videos were also altered with references to the two hackers’ names “Prosox” and “Kuroi’sh”, and the hashtag “#freepalestine”. While “Despacito” was taken offline, many of the other videos remained available to view as normal.

Vevo is a multinational video hosting service co-owned by record companies Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, as well as Abu Dhabi Media and Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

Each of the affected videos are hosted on specific channels dedicated to individuals artists or acts, such as “LuisFonsiVEVO”, but it’s unclear whether the hacker duo illegitimately accessed all of these channels individually or the Vevo network as a whole.

According to The Hacker News, one of the hackers—Kuroi’sh—claims to have also been responsible for recent attacks on the @NowThis and @bbcarabicalerts Twitter accounts. Neither YouTube or Vevo have publicly addressed the situation (via The Verge), but we’ll keep an eye out for any official word on what must have been quite an embarrassing couple of hours.