(FiveNation.com)- Major news websites all over the world were unexpectedly bombarded with pornographic videos on Thursday, with older articles over at the Washington Post, Vox, the Mirror, Huffington Post, and others featuring hardcore adult movies in embedded videos.
The videos affected were mostly published between 2015 and 2017, and suddenly began displaying hardcore pornography from a company called “5 Star HD Porn.” Videos that were meant to display something else were used to display the pornography, and the incident was only discovered by anonymous users of the 4Chan online community.
A thread was published on the website’s /pol/ board explaining what had happened. It detailed how a Washington Post story published in January 2017 about then-House Speaker Paul Ryan stopping somebody from dabbing in a photograph, and a Huffington Post article from May of the same year about “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli being permanently banned from Twitter.
The incident even spanned to teen-focused websites, meaning children could have been exposed to the extremely explicit material.
So what happened?
Well, users at 4Chan determined that Vidme, the company that was used to provide video footage to various mainstream news websites, as purchased by Giphy in 2017. However, since then, the domain registration appeared to have lapsed and was purchased by somebody who redirected the site to a porn website.
It meant that whoever is behind the move purposely redirected those embedded videos to pornographic films.
It remains unclear precisely who was responsible, but given the scale of the attack, it seems fairly likely that some lawsuits are on the way…or potentially even a criminal suit. Surely exposing children to pornography has to be illegal?