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.
According to The Hacker News, a cybersecurity website, it was Vevo’s YouTube account that was targeted by the culprits, whose real-world identities remain a mystery. Google did not respond to a request for comment. Vevo is a U.S.-based video hosting service and web store that shares music videos of pop stars.
One of the alleged hackers tweeted directly to YouTube’s Twitter account, stating: “Its just for fun i just use script ‘youtube-change-title-video’ and i write ‘hacked’ don t judge me i love youtube.” It remains unclear exactly what “script” was used to break into the profile, but the Vevo account appears to be in the process of being restored.