Hacker takes control of Drake, Eminem and Justin Bieber’s YouTube channels
“We just hacked Travis Scott,” a Twitter account by the name Los Pelaos announced in Spanish at 3:37 a.m. Tuesday.
This week, some of the biggest names in the music industry had their YouTube accounts hacked by an “unauthorized source” who uploaded a number of bizarre clips from a convicted scammer. The hit list includes Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Drake, Lil Nas X, Harry Styles, Michael Jackson, The Weekend and Eminem. These artists have hundreds of millions of combined subscribers on YouTube, Bieber alone has 68.2 million.
The hacker uploaded a video titled “Justin bieber – Free Paco Sanz (ft. Will Smith, Chris Rock, Skinny flex & Los Pelaos)” to Bieber’s YouTube channel.
A few months ago, the Spanish scammer Paco Sanz was sentenced to two years in prison for fraud after lying about terminal cancer and defrauded large sums of money between 2010 and 2017.
The video shows Sanz holding a guitar the wrong way while singing a Spanish trap song remixed by La Mafia Del Edit, an Instagram meme account that defended Sanz in February when he was convicted.
The Twitter account under the handle @lospeloaosbro continued to announce the list of hacked artists as it went along, occasionally stopping to ask “Who next?” to their 14,900 subscribers. They also offered to sell security to celebrities who didn’t want to be hacked. The account user’s identity is unknown, but the user’s photo appears to be of Sanz with a nasal cannula.
The videos were eventually deleted after racking up thousands of views.
Although YouTube has yet to acknowledge the incident, video hosting service Vevo said it is reviewing its security systems.
“Some videos were directly uploaded to a small number of Vevo artist channels earlier today by an unauthorized source,” a Vevo representative told the New York Post in a report. “While the artist channels have been secured and the incident has been resolved, as a best practice, Vevo will be conducting a review of our security systems.”
Artists, or rather their record labels, upload their music videos to Vevo through a separate verified channel, and YouTube merges that content with the artist’s YouTube channel.
YouTube has fended off hackers after a recent spate of attacks targeting high profile content creators on the website, posting cryptocurrency scams or auctioning off access to YouTube accounts. Since then, YouTube has required popular pages on its website to enable two-step verification.
Although the most recent hacking spree is over for now, hackers may launch future attacks. The day after the hack, the Los Pelaos account tweeted: “Give us ideas of possible platforms to hack. We do not attack governments, only private companies.