After succesfully fending off an (alleged) hack attack by the Chinese government earlier this month, it seems that Google’s technicians weren’t quite fast enough to catch an attack on Youtube from an entirely different source: 4Chan.

Those of you checking through my previous post on suitable (and unsuitable) social networks may have noticed a tongue in cheek warning regarding the net’s largest image board: 4chan (Caution -NSFW).

But now it seems that simply avoiding the endless, entirely offensive – and occasionally very funny – site won’t help you. 4chan is allegedly making its own brand of web mayhem proactive – as YouTube discovered to their dismay this weekend.

Gaining entry via Youtube’s comments boards, various hackers managed to insert extra HTML coding into the site, causing endless popups, unusual video behavior and, thanks to a modified Rickrolling code, a particularly unsuitable rerouting of teen star Justin Bieber’s videos.

Youtube’s comments system is overseen by Google, who were quick to jump on the bug on Sunday morning, shutting down comments within the hour as both Twitter and the Google support forum began reporting complaints.

While the bug itself was a fairly simple one, it does open up some interesting questions regarding security that we take for granted – should we start being less concerned about Facebook privacy settings and more interested in old school hackers?


Bieber has attracted particular ire in recent weeks, with a contest on his website being spiked as users attempted to send him on a tour of North Korea, and circulated claims that Playboy had approached his mother regarding posing for a centerfold spread.

UPDATE -As noted in the comments below the attack is now being attributed to humour site Ebaumsworld(NSFW). More info as it comes in.