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YouTube's most viewed video Despacito disappears in apparent Vevo hack

A number of other artists have also been affected by the hack.

File photo
File photo
Image: pixinoo via Shutterstock

YOUTUBE’S MUSIC VIDEO for the chart-topping song Despacito, which has accumulated over five billion views, has been deleted in an apparent hack of video hosting service Vevo.

According to the BBC, more than a dozen other artists, including Selena Gomez, Drake, Taylor Swift and Shakira have been affected. The original videos had been posted on YouTube by Vevo.

The Despacito video has been removed from YouTube. When users click the link for the video they are directed to an error screen on the video-sharing website.

The hackers, who are calling themselves Kuroi’sh and Prosox, had written “Free Palestine” underneath the hacked videos, the BBC is reporting.

1212 A screenshot of the Despacito video on YouTube currently Source: Screengrab via YouTube

One year ago this week, the music video for Despacito became the most watched video on YouTube ever.

With regards to the other hacked videos, it appears they are no longer available to search on Vevo’s YouTube account.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, YouTube said: “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.”

The hack appeared to be localised to Vevo and a small number of their accounts.

“Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalogue were subject to a security breach today, which has now been contained,” Vevo said 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.”

Cyber-security expert Professor Alan Woodward, from Surrey University, told the BBC that it was unlikely that the hacker was able to gain access easily.

“To upload and alter video content with code you should require an authorisation token,” Woodward said.

“So, either this hacker has found a way around that need for authorisation, or they are being economical with the facts, or they obtained the permissions in some other way.”

TheJournal.ie has contacted YouTube and Vevo for comment.

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