11/04/2018 10:43 SAST | Updated 11/04/2018 10:43 SAST

YouTube's Most Watched Video, 'Despacito', Has Been Hacked

The music video, originally uploaded by Vevo, had been watched more than 5-billion times. 

The most watched YouTube video in history, "Despacito", has been hacked – and subsequently removed from the site.

The music video, originally uploaded by Vevo, had been watched more than 5-billion times. The hackers left the video unaltered, but changed the title of the video and its cover image to a screenshot from a Spanish TV show.


In addition the two hackers, reportedly known as Prosox and Kuroi'sh, wrote the words "Free Palestine" in the description.

Other artists affected by the hack include Taylor Swift, Drake, Shakira, Selena Gomez and more.

While many of the videos have since been changed back to the original, there are some that still show the altered title.


A Twitter account claiming to be one of the hackers has since posted a single tweet aimed at YouTube, saying that it was "just for fun" and "i love youtube <3".

In a comment sent to HuffPost UK, Mark James, a security specialist at IT security company ESET, said: "The details currently are sparse, so trying to figure out what they did or how they did it is not something that's easily done."

"The problem with these types of hacks is the potential for damage caused. For YouTube it's a brand and PR issue. For the artists it's the personal damage of their brand being used for nefarious purposes. Some YouTube videos collect hundreds of thousands or indeed millions of views. The ability to push information to all those viewers is massive, and in some cases we could even see actions to trick the user into going to websites or following link."

HuffPost has asked YouTube for comment.