YouTube's most watched video ever, Despacito, disappears thanks to Vevo hack

Muriel Hammond
April 11, 2018

The video itself was knocked offline and its cover image was replaced by an image of several people in masks and orange boiler suits wielding guns, taken from the Spanish TV show Money Heist. Other popular music videos from the likes of Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Drake, Shakira, and others were also defaced and their thumbnails and titles were changed as well. All of the hacked videos were uploaded from artist Vevo accounts. Among the videos deleted was the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito".

The hackers, appeared with names of Kuroi'sh and Prosox, changed the title of the videos to claim their responsibility for the hack. The Verge reports that some of the videos from the aforementioned singers were available with defaced titles and thumbnail images. It had five billion views at the time of the hacking and was pulled off the site during the hack.

"After seeing unusual upload activity on a handful of VEVO channels, we worked quickly with our partner to disable access while they investigate the issue", YouTube spokesperson Nicole Bell said in an emailed statement. "We are continuing to investigate the source of the breach".


Vevo added: "We are working to reinstate all videos affected and our catalogue to be restored to full working order".

Mark James, security specialist at ESET, said the details now surrounding the hack are sparse, so trying to figure out those responsible did or how they did it is not something that's easily done. The video's description was also altered, with the hackers, who call themselves Prosox and Kuroi'sh, writing "Free Palestine".

Vevo is the only company still profiting only music videos in 2018.

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