Several music videos were deleted from YouTube on Tuesday, in an apparent hack. Videos by artists such as Luis Fonsi, Shakira, Selena Gomez, Post Malone, Adele and Taylor Swift were affected. They had all been uploaded on YouTube by American multinational video hosting service Vevo, leading to speculation that it was not a site-wide hack.
The official video for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito, which became the most-watched YouTube clip of all time with over five billion views recently, was among the hacked videos. Though the video itself was deleted, users could see a cover image with a group of masked people pointing guns at the camera.
While the Despacito video was deleted from YouTube, the titles of other videos were changed to include words such as “hacked” or “killed”. Later on Tuesday, the Despacito video was restored, while the titles of other videos were back to their original names.
Vevo confirmed that a “security breach” had affected a number of videos and that it is looking into the matter. “Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalogue were subject to a security breach today, which has now been contained,” the video hosting service told Engadget in a statement. “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.”
The hackers called themselves Prosox and Kuroi’sh. They had reportedly also changed the description in some videos and written “Free Palestine”. A person claiming to be one of the hackers claimed on Twitter that this was “just for fun”.