Cartoon Network websites hacked to show Arabic memes, male stripper videos

At least 16 regional Cartoon Network websites have been defaced by two Brazilian hackers.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor
Cartoon Network hack

Cartoon Network websites in at least 16 countries/regions have been hacked over the weekend to play videos of Arabic memes and a Brazilian male stripper, among other things.

The hack has been perpetrated by two Brazilian hackers, whose names we will not be sharing in this article, as most hackers want media attention and we don't wish to encourage similar behavior.

The two have claimed that they used a vulnerability to gain access to the website management platform used by Cartoon Network, where they switched video sources to files of their choosing.

In most cases, they replaced videos of popular cartoon shows with videos of Arabic memes, Brazilian hip-hop songs, slideshows of various memes and funny images, and videos of Ricardo Milos, a well-known Brazilian male stripper who has become an internet meme.

The hack was carried out on Friday, April 25, and the defaced videos remained on Cartoon Network websites for three days, until April 28, when the Turner-owned TV channel was notified of the incident.

Currently, the defaced Cartoon Network videos have been removed, but all other videos also fail to load, suggesting ongoing maintenance and repairs.

According to user reports from over the weekend, Cartoon Network portals in the UK, Hungary, Romania, Germany, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, the Africa region, and the Arabic region have had videos replaced by the two hackers.

Cartoon Network UK and Cartoon Network Russia are the only regional stations that have formally admitted to the hack in public statements.

Contacted by ZDNet, Cartoon Network acknowledged the incident as well.

"On Sunday morning we were alerted that our Cartoon Network and other kids' websites had been compromised with video content that was not ours," a spokesperson for Turner, Cartoon Network's parent company, said. "We took immediate action and, as a result of this, either whole websites or the video players on our sites have been temporarily deactivated. Our teams are working hard to relaunch the sites and video players at the earliest opportunity, while ensuring the protection of our audiences."

The hackers have also claimed they had access to the Cartoon Network Asia and Pacific regional website, as well, but this was never confirmed.

CN hack
Image: ZDNet

It is not uncommon to see official websites defaced by hackers. The latest major site to suffer such a fate was the Wall Street Journal, defaced last year by PewDiePie fans.

Article updated with comments from Turner spokesperson.

Top vehicle hacking examples (in pictures)

More cybersecurity coverage:

Editorial standards