YouTube has been hacked to delete Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” music video, the most-viewed clip on the platform.
The Spanish-language hit, which has been viewed over 5 billion times, first had its video’s title changed by cyberattackers before it completely vanished from the Google-owned platform, according to The Hacker News.
The massively popular clip’s title was also reportedly changed as was its thumbnail image. The video has since been restored to the platform.
The hack seems to be part of a bigger breach affecting several Vevo YouTube channels, including those belonging to Drake, Taylor Swift, Adele, Chris Brown, Shakira and Maroon 5.
A hacker using the online moniker of Kuroi’SH claimed responsibility for the breach in a series of tweets, revealing that he also hacked rapper Post Malone and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.
Kuroi’SH also tweeted that he would hack NASA, Jake Paul and Logan Paul “if we didn’t hit 40,000 followers this day.”
Vevo and YouTube didn’t immediately comment.
Most of the affected music videos have had their titles changed to include “hacked by Kuroi’Sh & Prosox.”
No No 😮 Hey @LuisFonsi @daddy_yankee, a hacker just deleted your Despacito song from YouTube. pic.twitter.com/0YPzizRGVc
— The Hacker News (@TheHackersNews) April 10, 2018
They have also added the caption “Free Palestine” to some clips.
The hacker Kuroi’SH is also believed to have been behind a breach of Google Brazil last year, which saw the site defaced for more than 30 minutes.
Another Twitter account (@RealKuroiSHH) attributed to the same hacker also tweeted a link to Adele’s Vevo channel on YouTube, along with the hashtag “#hacked.”
That account’s bio claims Kuroi’SH is an “official owner” of Poodle Corp, a notorious hacking group thought to have been behind the 2016 cyberattack on mobile game Pokémon Go.
Last month, the group’s founding member, 20-year-old Zachary Buchta, was sentenced to three months in prison for his role in hacking thousands of company websites around the world and harassing unsuspecting people.
IT security specialist Mark James told The Sun that the cyberattack could potentially affect regular YouTube users alongside the artists who had their accounts hacked.
James, who works for anti-virus software-maker ESET, said: “the problem with these types of hacks is the potential for damage caused. For YouTube it’s a brand and PR issue. For the artists, it’s the personal damage of their brand being used for nefarious purposes.
“Some YouTube videos collect hundreds of thousands or indeed millions of views. The ability to push information to all those viewers is massive and in some cases, we could even see actions to trick the user into going to websites or following [a] link.”
“For the end user it’s about having the security measures in place in case you are involved in a phishing attack or online scam. Utilizing a good multi-layered internet security product and applying awareness when browsing web pages or clicking any links associated with the internet.
“The end user may be influenced by the information they see, if they trust the digital persona like a pop star or “Youtuber” they may be more likely to be scammed or tricked into going somewhere that may be malicious.”