The most popular videos on YouTube, including Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s record-breaking “Despacito,” were hacked and defaced Tuesday, the BBC reports.
While the content of the videos was unaltered, the hackers managed to replace the still photo that accompanies unplayed YouTube videos with a photo of people in masks pointing guns at the camera (according to The Verge, the still is from the Spanish-language show, La Casa de Papel). Titles to videos were changed to messages like “Hacked by Kuroi’SH & Prosox,” while the descriptions of some were altered to read, “Free Palestine.”
Other artists whose videos were hit included Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Drake, Chris Brown and Selena Gomez. YouTube was forced to briefly take down several clips, though as of this publication, the website’s top videos have been restored.
In a statement, YouTube told Billboard, “After seeing unusual upload activity on a handful of VEVO channels, we worked quickly with out partner to disable access while they investigate the issue.”
Vevo, which hosts videos on YouTube and its own website, released a statement to The Verge, saying, “Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalog were subject to a security breach today, which has now been contained. We are working to reinstate all videos affected and our catalog to be restored to full working order. We are continuing to investigate the source of the breach.”
A Twitter account ostensibly belonging to one of the hackers, Prosox, tweeted about the attack. In a message to YouTube, Prosox said, “It’s just for fun i just use script ‘youtube-change-title-video”‘and i write ‘hacked’ don’t judge me i love youtube.”
In a tweet addressed to Vevo, Prosox said, “You have all my respect but do not leave the control to your site to any developer did not take into account this hacking it was a fun if we would like to harm your customers we would delete all the video but I did not delete ‘despacito’ must believe me.”