The children-oriented TV channel Cartoon Network saw some of their websites affected by a hack, replacing their content with memes and others.
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Remember Cartoon Network? In the past quite popular amongst children with shows such as The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Ben 10, and more recently Adventure Time and Steven Universe, Cartoon Network is now a TV channel that could be considered as forgotten or having lost relevance, at least in Europe. Yet, “thanks” to a recent hack, the site has regained a temporary popularity/visibility.
On April 28th, various users on Twitter reported that the Cartoon Network websites in various different countries were showing different “content” than “usual”, being filled with various videos and memes, which, honestly, are more interesting than the content the website is currently hosting. An example of the content shown during a few days can be seen below:
As previously mentioned, this hack affected various regional websites of the company, with the UK, Hungary, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil sites showing this kind of content, as well as memes such as the well-known Ricardo Milos. The exact reach of the incident is unknown, with at least 15 regional websites hit by the hack. The rare comments about the situation mention the Hungarian website had been under attack for at least three days before the other sites got hacked, meaning it started the 25th.
Neither Cartoon Network nor Warner Media (Warner Bros) issued a comment on the matter, with only Cartoon Network UK posting a comment on Twitter:
The website for the UK has been unreachable since the 28th, making this five days since the content is inaccessible, which is unusually long for a company this size. Some say Cartoon Network just shut off their servers, unsure on how to resolve the situation.
The hack most likely originated from Brazil, with two people claiming being behind the attack. The account of one of them, “@sudoreall”, has since disappeared (deleted? Banned?), although before disappearing, the owner of said account had been laughing at the matter. According to what this user claims, he and somebody else had decided to hack the video player of Cartoon Network’s sites to raise awareness of their poor security. Ironically, Cartoon Network eventually managed to regain control of the situation and restore their sites, just to be hacked again soon after, showing they were still using the same video player without having made any changes to it.
It is currently unknown whether there will be any legal repercussions for the people behind these actions.