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Streaming site Twitch confirms hack

·2-min read
A Twitter hashtag, #TwitchDoBetter, has become a magnet for complaints, largely from female, non-white and LGBTQ players saying that Twitch is failing to stop internet trolls running amok -- all while taking 50 percent of streamers' earnings (AFP/Lionel BONAVENTURE)

Amazon's popular live video streaming platform Twitch said Wednesday hackers had broken into its network after reports of exposed confidential company data surfaced online.

The service, where users often stream live video game play, confirmed the break-in on Twitter.

"We can confirm a breach has taken place," Twitch said in post from its verified Twitter account.

"Our teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this."

The statement came after reports emerged that a massive dump of Twitch data had been posted on fringe anonymous message board 4Chan.

A post at 4Chan served up 125 gigabytes of data reported to include Twitch source code, records of payouts to streamers, and a digital video game distribution service being built by Amazon Game Studios.

It did not appear that personal Twitch user data was in the dump, but the extent of the hack was still being investigated.

Google searches for "how to delete Twitch" rocketed eightfold as news of the hack spread, according to marketing analysts firm N. Rich.

"With such a concerning data breach from a platform as widespread and global as Twitch, users are naturally wanting to protect themselves and their data as soon as possible," an N.Rich spokesperson said.

The person who posted the trove of stolen data left a message claiming the break-in was performed to foster competition in video streaming, and because the Twitch community "is a disgusting toxic cesspool," according to media reports.

Users of Twitch, the world's biggest video game streaming site, staged a virtual walkout last month to voice outrage over barrages of racist, sexist and homophobic abuse on the platform.

The phenomenon of "hate raids" -- torrents of abuse -- has seen the platform become increasingly unpleasant many for Twitch streamers who are not white or straight.

A Twitter hashtag, #TwitchDoBetter, has become a magnet for complaints over the past month, largely from female, non-white and LGBTQ players saying that Twitch is failing to stop internet trolls running amok -- all while taking 50 percent of streamers' earnings.

Twitch has maintained that it is working to improve tools for protecting accounts from abuses.

The service is suing two users in US federal court, accusing them of orchestrating the so-called "hate raids."

gc/caw

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