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Twitch Hack Reveals The Platform’s Biggest Streamers Revenue

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Amazon.

Twitch Interactive, the video game streaming platform owned by com Inc., said on Wednesday it suffered a data breach, with information leaked to the 4chan online discussion forum.

The 4chan user who allegedly posted data to Twitch said he did so to harm Twitch’s business. The person claimed to have access to information, including Twitch’s source code, internal security tools, and creator payments.

Twitch confirmed the breach. “Our teams are urgently working to understand the extent of this,” the company wrote on Twitter.

“Their community is also a disgusting toxic cesspool, so to foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space, we’ve completely pwned them up,” the user who reportedly posted Twitch data to 4chan wrote, using a slang word for hack. “Find out how much your favorite streamer really earns! “

The user called the data dump “part one”, suggesting there may be more to come.

A Twitch spokesperson declined to comment on the data taken. The hack was reported earlier by videogameschronicle.com.

The alleged hacker hinted at Amazon ownership on Twitch, posting his post alongside a photo of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

“Jeff Bezos paid $ 970 million for it, we’re giving it away for FREE,” the user wrote. “#DoBetterTwitch.”

An Amazon representative was not immediately available for comment.

Amazon bought Twitch, initially known as Justin.tv, in 2014 for around $ 970 million in cash. It currently averages over 2.5 million viewers at any given time, and more than seven million creators stream live video to the platform each month, according to its own data.

Several Twitch streamers posted on social media that many of the leaked payout figures matched what they were making on the platform. The data showed that some users were reaching payments in the six digits.

Scott Hellyer, a streamer who has been with Twitch’s Partner Program for six years, said in a direct message on Twitter that information about his payments was leaked during the breach.

“I really hope that no important personal information (full names, emails, address, phone number, bank details) is released in the next part of the leak,” said Mr. Hellyer, who is around 72 years old. 000 subscribers on his channel, “tehMorag.” I’ll take the heat if people are surprised at what I’m making in the next few days and try to have an open dialogue about it. ”

For years, hackers have targeted gamers to cheat and take control of accounts, increasingly training developers to steal potentially valuable information about upcoming releases. Earlier this year, Electronic Arts Inc, based in Redwood City, Calif..

and Polish game developer CD Projekt SA each reported hacks. Rather than taking CD Projekt’s data hostage for ransom, hackers said at the time that they would auction the source code of the games on the dark web.

Cyber ​​attacks against organizations around the world are up 40% this year from the first 10 months of 2020, according to security firm Check Point Software Technologies Inc..

Mark Ostrowski, engineering director for Check Point in the eastern United States, said the potential source code violation from Twitch could open the door to future incidents.

“Quietly, hackers, competitors and users scan the code for loopholes to exploit or gain a competitive advantage in their own development,” he said.

It is not clear whether the breach included additional personal data about Twitch users. People using the platform should change their passwords and enable multi-factor authentication on their accounts as a precaution, said Jarno Niemelä, senior researcher at Finnish cybersecurity company F-Secure..

The incident comes after Twitch recently struggled with harassment on its platform. Last month, the company sued two users in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for allegedly sending racist, anti-gay, sexist and violent messages and content to others. The company said the so-called hate raids violated its terms of service, traumatized some users and forced some to leave the platform, according to the complaint.

The hack was not a first for Twitch. In 2015, the company said that some users’ information may have been accessed without authorization, including passwords, email addresses, usernames, home addresses, phone numbers, and dates. birth. Twitch canceled the passwords of those who received the email, claiming the passwords are encrypted but could still have been viewed.

Streamers on Twitch typically generate revenue through advertising, referrals, and viewer tips when they reach certain audience metrics. Twitch is concluding specials with its most popular streamers for additional revenue. Video game publishers, including Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard Inc.

, have paid these big names tens of thousands of dollars apiece to play their latest releases for a few hours on Twitch to drive sales.

Twitch mainly competes with Facebook Inc.

, Alphabet Inc.

on YouTube and, until last year, Microsoft Corp.

‘s Mixer. Microsoft shut down Mixer after just over three years for not keeping pace with its rivals, even though it poached top Twitch streamers such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, known for playing “Fortnite.”

For several years, Amazon has been working on developing its own video games and integrating them into Twitch. The company has struggled to release a hit, although it recently released a computer game that had a successful launch.

“New World” was among the most played games on the Steam service when it was released on September 28, drawing a peak of around 700,000 players. On Twitch, top broadcasters like Shroud have played the multiplayer role-playing game, which costs $ 49.99.

On October 1, Mr. Bezos expressed his satisfaction with “New World” on Twitter. “After many failures and setbacks in the game, we have success,” he wrote on the courier. “So proud of the team for the persistence.”

Allison Prang contributed to this article.

Write to David Uberti at [email protected] and to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected]

Corrections and amplifications
Twitch currently averages over 2.5 million viewers at any given time, according to its own data. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that it had over 2.5 billion viewers at any given time. (Corrected October 6)

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