YouTube experienced a worldwide outage on October 16, as users across the globe reported incidents of the site failing to load and a 503 network error message.
While YouTube has yet to explain the cause behind the outage, a number of theories point to a plethora of possible agents - one of which could stem from a group of hackers.
The group in question, which goes by the name of ‘Project Zorgo,’ posted to their Twitter account on October 16 bragging about having accomplished the site-wide takedown.
“Project Zorgo has successfully taken YouTube offline!” they wrote in a caption above a screenshot of the blank website.
Project Zorgo has successfully taken YouTube offline! pic.twitter.com/nzov2CMuRr— Project Zorgo (@ProjectZorgo) October 17, 2018
Their account profile likewise points to a possible involvement in the outage, reading, “We are the YouTube Hacker group. We believe YouTube has become too powerful and is a threat to traditional media.”
In addition, the group also claimed to have hacked YouTube’s trending page in early September, which they advertised with a dramatic video. According to the clip, Zorgo had placed one of their own videos on the trending page, which was titled, ‘Project Zorgo Doomsday Date.’
Phase 1: Hack YouTube Trending Page = SUCCESS pic.twitter.com/ieVX3jAoSW— Project Zorgo (@ProjectZorgo) September 14, 2018
They claimed that the September hack was only phase one in their plan to take down the online video platform.
Other probable causes include that of the organization ICANN, who reportedly switched the security keys to YouTube’s DNS servers. While neither of these possibilities have been confirmed by YouTube, the site is now up and running as usual - for now.