Happy 4th of July YouTube: You’ve Been Hacked!

Yesterday YouTube received a 4th of July surprise when hackers got into the site and targeted popular videos, specifically Justin Bieber clips. Bieber’s YouTube clips were hit with a variety of different hacks, including a pop-up banner claiming that the young pop sensation died in a horrific car crash, a redirect to an explicit video, and a hack in which the words “OMG Faggot” cover the screen.

According to BBC News, YouTube “fixed the problem ‘about two hours’ after it was discovered.” A YouTube spokesperson said, “We took swift action to fix a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability on YouTube.com. Comments were temporarily hidden by default within an hour, and we released a complete fix for the issue in about two hours.”
Hackers were able to inject HTML code into YouTube’s site, in order to add pop-up messages, redirects and more. The hack started out when Internet communities including a group of Internet whizzes called 4chan, discovered a flaw in YouTube’s commenting system. 4chan is notoriously anti-Bieber and they took the opportunity to mess with the YouTube star. Check out screenshots of the hack below, from The Next Web and Mashable.

However, as quickly as the attack began, it was put to an end. According to The Next Web, YouTube blocked the script that was being used by the hackers and all of Justin Bieber’s videos, and other affected clips, went back to normal. Although the hack only lasted a couple of hours, the news of the hack spread quickly, as incredibly popular Justin Bieber videos were targeted. On Twitter, complaints piled up by the second.
So what’s the moral of this story? If you are going to hack a website, target the most popular content first and whatever statement you are trying to make will spread like wildfire. Not that we are suggesting you hack a website, of course. 🙂
Did you see any of the pop-ups or redirects on YouTube yesterday?