Hackers Target ‘Despacito,’ Other Vevo Videos on YouTube With Pro-Palestine Messages

Hackers were able to deface Vevo’s presence on YouTube late Monday night, replacing several video thumbnails and adding pro-Palestine messages to video titles and descriptions. One of the videos targeted: “Despacito” from Luis Fonsi, which recently became the first YouTube video to surpass five billion views.

Vevo confirmed the incident when contacted by Variety. “Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalogue were subject to a security breach today, which has now been contained,” a spokesperson said via email. “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 replaced at least some of the cover art with pictures from the Netflix show “Money Heist.” Some of the titles included the names of the hackers, while others demanded a “free Palestine.” Some videos were briefly offline following the hack, but it appears that this was part of the process to restore the original versions, rather than a deletion by the hackers.

On Twitter, a few users took credit for the hack Tuesday, declaring that it was “just a game” for them. Their claim couldn’t not immediately be verified.

Vevo, which is majority-owned by two of the three major labels, has long used YouTube as its main distribution platform for its music videos. Recently, YouTube began to reorganize much of Vevo’s inventory under official artist channels to simplify music discovery ahead of the launch of its own music subscription service.

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