YouTube’s music video for the hit song Despacito, which has had over five billion views, has been hacked.
More than a dozen other artists, including Shakira, Selena Gomez, Drake and Taylor Swift are also affected. The original clips had been posted by Vevo.
The Despacito video has been removed, but its cover image had shown a group wearing masks and pointing guns.
The hackers, calling themselves Prosox and Kuroi’sh, had written “Free Palestine” underneath the videos.
Several of the clips remain live at time of writing.
Of those, the actual video content itself appears to be unaltered. Many titles have been changed to include the names of the hackers, but only some feature the replaced cover image.
Both YouTube and the music video hosting service Vevo have been contacted for comment.
A Twitter account that apparently belongs to one of the hackers posted: “It’s just for fun, I just use [the] script ‘youtube-change-title-video’ and I write ‘hacked’.”
“Don’t judge me I love YouTube,” it added.
Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from Surrey University, said it was unlikely that the hacker was able to gain access so easily.
“To upload and alter video content with code you should require an authorisation token,” he 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.”