It’s been a week since Twitch was hacked, with its source code, internal plans and top streamer revenues leaked to the world. But how will this change the culture around Amazon’s livestreaming service, and how streamers and viewers think about Twitch? Esports News UK Dom Sacco ponders in this analysis piece.
With a company the size of Twitch, it’s naturally going to get scrutinised and criticised, but I don’t think anything could have prepared it for the enormity of this hack.
One week ago, on October 6th 2021, an anonymous hacker leaked Twitch’s complete source code on 4chan, as well as the earnings of several of the site’s top streamers. The hacker apparently called out Twitch’s culture, saying the community is “a toxic cesspool” and that they wanted to “foster more disruption and competition” in the streaming sector.
Twitch soon acknowledged the breach, reset all stream keys and many Twitch users changed their passwords, though Twitch said there was no evidence that login credentials were accessed.
Twitch added in a security update post: “Some data was exposed to the internet due to an error in a Twitch server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party.”
Many streamers also confirmed their revenue figures – leaked from September 2019 – as largely accurate. These figures seemingly included subscriptions and ad revenues, with some streamers saying donations and other revenue streams like sponsorships were not included, and Dexerto reporting that the leaked Twitch figures didn’t include exclusivity contracts either. This meant the amounts leaked weren’t 100% reflective of the overall earnings for the streamers listed.
Regardless, the amounts were substantial, with top streamers having earnt millions of dollars since September 2019.
Streamers reactions naturally varied. Some, including fast-growing UK streamer TommyInnit and Irish streamer Jacksepticeye, responded with humour.
The leak listed the highest-earning 10,000 streamers, with D&D channel Critical Role at the very top.
Twitchearnings.com – a website that sprang up listing all the leaked revenues per streamer – has now gone down, as has the original pastebin. There were a number of well-earning UK streamers included in here, from RossBoomsocks to Preach, Lando Norris, Vicksy, Onscreen, the Yogscast network, Richard Lewis and more. Many streamers had made hundreds of thousands of dollars from the site.
The leak has been well-documented at this point and I personally don’t want to celebrate hackers that make people’s personal…
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