Drake, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift’s YouTube channels hacked

The attack, resolved on the morning of Tuesday April 5, was claimed by a Spanish support group for a crook sentenced to two years in prison.

The scare was short-lived. On Tuesday, subscribers to the YouTube channels of a myriad of the most prominent musicians were surprised to see a train of unusual videos scrolling through their notifications. Titled differently, they all presented an amateur clip of just over a minute, featuring an individual with a guitar, suffering from alopecia, associated with the hashtag #FreePacoSanz.

Taylor Swift, Travis Scot, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Drake, Lil Nas X, Cardi B, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Jay-Z, Michael Jackson… More than twenty personality accounts, totaling more than 200 million subscribers, were affected by the hack, before the situation returned to normal and the videos were deleted in the morning. These featured Paco Sanz, a Spaniard sentenced in February 2021 to two years in prison. Diagnosed as suffering from Cowden syndrome, a rare genetic disease, he had been found guilty of defrauding thousands of people of more than 264,000 euros by fraudulently claiming to be in the terminal phase and on the verge of death.

The various hacked YouTube channels had seen a video of Paco Sanz, a Spaniard sentenced to two years in prison in 2021 for fraud. YouTube screenshot

Spanish claim

Since his conviction, a movement of support for Paco Sanz has flourished on the Internet, in particular on the Spanish-speaking web. Satirical in nature, according to the Spanish news site The Diario , this movement is notably embodied on the web by the Los Pelaos group, which claimed responsibility on Twitter for the attack on the accounts of the various stars. The same set had already hacked in 2021, for the same cause, the Twitter accounts of several Spanish media.

Wednesday morning, YouTube had still not reacted to the hacking of the various official accounts of the artists. The intrusion implies that the Google accounts associated with the various channels were also spoofed during part of the morning of April 5. The majority of accounts, if not all, however, come from professional channels managed by intermediaries, thus reducing the risk of leaks of personal data of the various musicians. Asked by the American media The Verge one of these intermediaries, the broadcaster Vevo, which specializes in online clips, admitted having been the subject of an attack, which has since ended, and said it was reviewing its security measures.

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