Unbelievable as it sounds, YouTube was hacked this weekend. It has been acknowledged by Google that its YouTube was hacked by pranksters on the day of American independence. Chaos spread through internet users and online communities, such as Facebook and Twitter, as updates about the malfunction from users worldwide came upfront. Apparently the bug was invested through YouTube’s comment facility by injecting an executable HTML code. This caused the website to redirect links to adult web pages and display popup messages, telling the website has been hacked etc.
It is justified that the hackers were trying to target the famous teen pop star Justin Bieber. Whenever the link to one of his videos was clicked, the website was redirected to websites containing X rated content. Furthermore, the website displayed life threatening popup messages about the singer, causing mayhem among fans. It is said that the members of one or more internet community of hackers, such as 4chan or others, are behind the mischief for no obvious reason. Such hackers are also considered responsible for trying to send Justin Bieber to North Korea!
Actually this happened due to a weakness in YouTube’s comment system. The system allowed users to type in HTML code. For those who are not aware, HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a programming language for developing websites and most of the websites are developed in it. Officially the system should restrict such text but in case of YouTube the possibility was ignored. Hence the hackers typed in an executable HTML code, that when punched in was executed by the website, resulting in the chaos. According to reports Google took control of the problem within an hour of its first citation. They disabled comments in an hour and fixed the bug within the next two hours. It was a job well done by the hackers but Google was successful in fixing it within hours. The morning of American Independence Day began with a chaotic firework, but was soon taken care of.
Like Google, being the most reliable search engine, YouTube is the most widely used website for sharing videos. Not only that but it has become a sort of community for those who like communicating through videos. YouTube is the search engine for videos and it has kept its reputation over the years. According to a survey, out of the 14.6 million videos watched in US, in May, 43% were watched on YouTube. And that’s just US. People worldwide find YouTube to be the first stop in search of any kind of video. True as anyone may believe it, YouTube is the one and only multi – category videos station. Hence such a little incident as of Sunday’s, should not affect its reputation. Although it is warned to all internet users, who frequently upload and download files, to be very careful with whatever they are dealing with. And well it won’t be wrong to say that Internet is a jungle and you can never be too careful.