[Editor’s note: As of 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday (Apr. 10) a spokesperson for VEVO confirmed that all the affected videos had been reposted to the site.]
A group of hackers broke into the video for “Despacito” on Monday (Apr. 9) and defaced the clip’s cover image with a picture of a masked people pointing guns, resulting in the most-viewed music video of all time being taken down temporarily. According to BBC News, the hackers, who go by Prosox and Kuroi’sh, had also broken into clips by more than a dozen other artists, including Drake, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Shakira.
After a brief period where “Despacito” was not available on Vevo or YouTube, the Luis Fonsi/Daddy Yankee No. 1 hit returned. In a statement, a YouTube spokesperson tells Billboard, “After seeing unusual upload activity on a handful of VEVO channels, we worked quickly with out partner to disable access while they investigate the issue.”
A short time later, a spokesperson for VEVO confirmed the hack in a statement to Billboard. “Vevo can confirm that a number of videos in its catalogue were subject to a security breach today, which has now been contained,” read the 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 hack was seemingly aimed only at VEVO and not YouTube.
One of the apparent hackers posted a cryptic message to Vevo, writing “@Vevo You have all my respect but do not leave the control to your site to any developer did not take into account this hacking it was a fun if we would like to harm your customers we would delete all the video but I did not delete despacito must believe me.”
@Vevo You have all my respect but do not leave the control to your site to any developer did not take into account this hacking it was a fun if we would like to harm your customers we would delete all the video but I did not delete despacito must believe me
— Prosox (@ProsoxW3b) April 10, 2018
Twitter users were upset about the alleged hack.
Despacito got deleted off YouTube. I’ve never felt this pain pic.twitter.com/dO0bvylbvn
— ????????? (@pewdiepie) April 10, 2018
A bunch of hackers have hacked VEVO, they’ve changed the titles of all the popular music videos and deleted Despacito. Gangnam Style is the only song that isn’t on a VEVO channel because Psy was smart enough to upload it to his own.
Gangnam Style > Despacito
— T9 (@Thafnine) April 10, 2018
Various videos including “Despacito”, “Hello”, “Chantaje”, “Fancy” & more have been hacked on YouTube! pic.twitter.com/Kn9R7yP6FK
— Music News Facts (@musicnewsfact) April 10, 2018
This is BIG.
The most watched video – Despacito – has been deleted altogether, while the names of several other hugely popular songs have been vandalized. pic.twitter.com/njJDdyYc12
— Karthik Balakrishnan (@karthikb351) April 10, 2018