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Amazon's streaming giant Twitch hacked, exposing crucial internal data

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Twitch was bought by Amazon bought for $970m in 2014. Photo: Reuters
Twitch was bought by Amazon bought for $970m in 2014. Photo: Reuters

Amazon-owned (AMZN) streaming giant Twitch has been hacked with masses of internal data posted by an anonymous hacker on message board 4chan.

The data is reportedly available for anyone to download in the form of a 125GB torrent file.

Included in the information leaked is apparently the entirety of Twitch’s source code and an exhaustive list of over 10,000 streamers’ earnings on the platform from August 2019 to October 2021, along with encrypted passwords.

Twitch users are being advised to update their passwords.

It has also been revealed that a Twitch channel called Critical Role is the service’s number one earner, raking in $9.6m (£7.1m).

There is also mention of a service called Vapor, possibly Amazon's answer to online games platform Steam.

According to WePC: "This alleged competition to Steam from Amazon Game Studios is claimed to integrate many of Twitch.tv’s features, slotting them into a bespoke game store."

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The hacker said they posted the data because they want to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space” because “their community is a disgusting toxic cesspool.”

The hacker has also said this is just half of the leak, with more to come.

Security company VPNOverview's researchers found that worldwide searches for “Twitch data”, “4chan Twitch” and “Twitch password” are soaring to more than 50 times their average volume as users of the popular streaming website search for details about the leak.

David Janssen, founder of the company, told Yahoo Finance UK: “Unfortunately, data leaks are not uncommon, but it’s rare to see such a comprehensive breach that reveals every aspect of the site’s data."

“This breach, combined with the Facebook (FB) outage, makes it painfully apparent how vulnerable our digital infrastructure and digital society have become. We need to start rethinking our dependence on digital networks and how to act if they fail us."

He said big tech "have some of the best programmers, network specialists, and security experts in the world, and yet they are vulnerable. It is time to rethink how to protect key digital infrastructures in the digital era.”

Twitch is hugely popular amongst gamers. Its millions of users are divided into those who broadcast themselves live while playing a video game, and those who watch these streams.

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It was bought by Amazon bought for $970m in 2014.

Yahoo Finance UK reached out to both Twitch and Amazon for comment but had not heard back at the time of writing. A source told Video Games Chronicle that Twitch is aware of the breach and that the data was obtained as recently as Monday.

According to the Business of Apps website, Twitch made an estimated $2.3bn revenue in 2020, mainly from subscriptions and in-app purchases, with 18.6 billion hours of content consumed.

Just last week, Twitch said it was adding new verification tools to fight harassment, after streamers, mainly from minority or marginalised communities, faced abused.

Twitch users have been victims of "hate raids" — when bots are programmed to overwhelm a streamer's chat section with hateful messages.

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