Hackers gained control of Microsoft’s YouTube account over the weekend, replacing videos and advertising
Microsoft’s official YouTube channel has become the latest to fall victim to hackers as its library of videos was deleted and replaced over the weekend.
A similar attack occurred last week when the child-orientated videos on Sesame Street’s official YouTube account were replaced by pornographic material, however according to Sophos’ senior technology consultant Graham Cluley, the content posted on Microsoft’s channel was relatively innocent.
‘Embarrassing and inconvenient’
The videos, typically three to four seconds in length, called on users to post video responses, provide sponsorship or create new background images for the channel. Another appeared to show a scene from the video game LA Noire, with one character shooting another in the head.
Cluley said, “It seems unlikely that the change to the YouTube channel is a bizarre publicity stunt by Microsoft. After all, what would be the sense in deleting its archive of past videos – many of which are embedded on third-party sites around the world?”
No details have emerged regarding how hackers were able to gain control of the account, but Clulely offered the explanation that a Microsoft employee who had administrative rights over the channel was careless with their password.
Microsoft has since regained access to the channel and restored its videos and advertising. “We have regained control of the Microsoft channel on YouTube, and we are working to restore all of the original content,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We will continue to work with YouTube to ensure safeguards are in place for the future.”
However Clulely commented “Regardless of how the hack occurred, it’s embarrassing and inconvenient for Microsoft.”