Twitch, Amazon’s popular streaming platform, is battling an unprecedented hack on its website. On the morning of October 6th, an anonymous 4chan user posted a 235GB torrent file that contained Twitch’s source code, details of the creator’s earnings, and other confidential information.
The leak does not appear to contain any personal information about Twitch streamers and viewers, such as user IDs or passwords; Much of what has been published is focused on Twitch internal documentation. Twitch says it is still working to understand the extent of the theft and that the company will update streamers and members of the Twitch community with more information as it becomes available. Here’s what we know right now.
What was stolen in the Twitch break-in?
The leaked information shared on Wednesday includes creator earnings payouts for three years dating back to 2019. This data has been compiled online and covers the top 10,000 streamers. A number of streamers on social media and elsewhere have confirmed that these numbers are in line with their internal Twitch analysis, but some say their numbers are wrong.
Hackers also say they have access to “Go Back to Commit History” [Twitch.tv’s] early beginnings, ”which means that“ snapshots ”could be saved from each Twitch iteration until it was created. The source code for Twitch’s mobile, desktop and console clients has also been made available online, as has “code related to proprietary SDKs and internal AWS services used by Twitch,” said The Verge. Data for other Twitch properties, such as the IGBD video game database and CurseForge mod management system, has been leaked, as have security tools and files related to an allegedly developing Steam competitor, codenamed Vapor, designed by Amazon Game Studios .
According to Vice, the information shared in the leak is not particularly “sensitive”, at least for Twitch. The information shared is more harmful to streamers themselves.
As The Verge reports, the information released on Wednesday is being referred to as “Part One,” which means there may be more hacked data available. Twitch has not yet commented specifically on the stolen data.
So should I change my password?
The short answer here is, yes, you should change your password even though there is little evidence that Twitch personal account information – other than the creator’s earnings – has been compromised. However, it is possible that the Twitch hacker could have more information that could include personal information such as passwords and other sensitive data.
Twitch hasn’t looked at user security, although some Twitch users who log into the streaming platform on Wednesday reported that they were asked to change their passwords. It’s also generally recommended that you enable two-factor authentication if you haven’t already – this step makes it harder for others to gain unauthorized access to your account, thereby protecting all of the information it contains.
Why are people interested in YouTubers’ earnings?
Twitch streamers who make money on the platform are largely hiding how much they are making, and that’s because anyone who has signed a contract with Twitch is Reportedly prevented from sharing this data. It’s no secret that Twitch streamers make money in a variety of ways, including subscriptions, donations, ads, and exclusives. Curious parties can Just add up the number of subscribers a person needs to get a streamer’s revenue in this space: subscriptions start at $ 4.99 and the revenue is shared with Twitch. Most streamers receive a 50% discount on the subscription price, but Twitch allows some streamers to negotiate different split.
However, this list of YouTubers’ earnings is significant as this type of data on this scale has never been revealed before. The information here reveals, among other things, a large discrepancy between the top streamers on Twitch and the tens of thousands of streamers struggling to find an audience. The violation has also sparked conversations about Twitch’s donation structure, which encourages viewers to tip streamers beyond their monthly subscription.
However, it is not entirely clear what these numbers encompass. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the leaked earnings data appears to be a “composite of money from ads, subscriptions, and other features” – with no brand offers, YouTube revenue, merchandise, or donations made outside of Twitch. The numbers listed appear to be total untaxed revenue since 2019.
The main channel listed in these revenue documents is the critical role that Dungeon & Dragons RPG channel in which professional voice actors play through a campaign. It was created by Overwatch Voice actor Matthew Mercer. The second highest earner, according to these leaked documents, is Félix “xQc” Lengyel, a controversial Canadian streamer and former Overwatch professional player. Overall, these documents suggest that 81 streamers have made more than $ 1 million on Twitch since 2019, with the top 10 Twitch earners receiving a total of at least $ 49,993,651 over those three years.
The earnings report also highlights the differences in Twitch’s gender pay gap, according to the unconfirmed document. The majority of the top 100 streamers are men; only three creators listed there are women – only one of them is a woman of color, Kotaku reported on Wednesday.
How do streamers react?
Of course, the Twitch hack is a big topic on Twitch itself. Many top streamers have chosen to spend the day discussing payout income in streams, many of which poke fun at the money lists: political commentator and streamer Hasan “HasanAbi” For example, Piker titled his stream “# 13 WEALTHIEST STREAMER ON THE PLANET.” ”Commented on his place on the earnings list in front of more than 44,000 viewers. Imane “Pokimane” Anys, who streamed in front of more than 20,000 viewers, gave her stream a similar title: “# 39 Reporting for the Service” and Jokes on twitter that “at least people can’t exaggerate that I ‘make millions a month with my viewers”. “
She continued: “I capped my donations a year ago because I’m not at a point where sponsors, investments and exclusive contracts can support me. Obviously, Subscriptions + Stream Ads are the lowest part of my income and I want you to keep that money in your pocket. “
In the 4chan post with the hacked information, the anonymous leaker called the Twitch community “a disgusting poisonous cesspool” and said the leak should “encourage more disruption and competition in online video streaming”. The leaker closed the news with a hashtag, #TwitchDoBetter, a reference to a social media campaign launched in August that aimed to highlight the harassment of black streamers on the platform.
Some streamers expressed their frustration with the leaker with the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter. The hashtag was created in August in response to an increase in “hate robberies” on the platform. Hate raiders abuse Twitch’s raiding feature – which allows a streamer to migrate their viewers to another stream – and send large amounts of toxic viewers or bots to marginalized streamers, especially black streamers, queer streamers, female streamers, and streamers of color. Twitch has now sued two people for allegedly leading hate attacks. Later in September, Twitch announced new features designed to curb harassment on the site, including a feature that requires Twitch viewers to verify a phone number before they can use the chat functionality.
To say there is a gap between Twitch streamers and the company is an understatement. Streamers are frustrated with the company’s perceived lack of responsibility and security – particularly due to the lack of protection for marginalized streamers – and Wednesday’s hack only adds to that existing frustration.