Twitch has suffered from a massive data breach, with 125GB of code and user data uncovered and shared on the internet. Worryingly, this sizable data chunk, made available publicly as a torrent, is labelled as "part one," so there might be more sensitive info being prepared for release in the coming hours/days.
Motivation for the leak is said to be, firstly, that Twitch is a "disgusting toxic cesspool," and secondly, to "foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space".
Analysis of the data leaked thus far results in the following highlights:
- Amazon is preparing a Steam / Epic Games Store competitor called Vapor,
- Twitch source codes for the web and apps, as well as internal dev tools, have leaked,
- User data has leaked – but it seems like user passwords are encrypted,
- Twitch creator payout reports from 2019 to the present day are available to peruse.
Late on Wednesday, Twitch confirmed the data breach was genuine. In a Twitter statement, made just a couple of days after poking fun at Facebook's technical issues, the firm said that "We can confirm a breach has taken place. Our teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this." Twitch promises to provide timely updates on its findings and the situation in general. Users of Twitch are encouraged to turn on 2FA for their security, even though, as in the bullet points above, passwords in the data dump are all thought to be encrypted.
It is interesting to see Amazon is quietly planning to move into the PC games etail space, currently dominated by the likes of Steam and Epic Games Store. Its considerable reach, clout, server capacity, and experience - plus the popular Twitch video game streaming platform - should help it make a quick and resounding impact.
Much of the media seem to be most interested in the payouts Twitch makes to its top streamers. Figures in the chart below show the earnings made by the top 25 streamers since August 2019. See how many of the names you know. Many of these top earners will have considerable further income from merchandise, YouTube revenue, sponsorships, and donations.
Of all the millions of streamers on the platform, just 81 have received earnings over $1 million consolidated since August 2019.