1An anonymous hacker breached Twitch's source code, and posted more than 100GB in an online Torrent on Wednesday, according to an initial report from Video Games Chronicle that was later confirmed by Twitch.
And it's not just the source code that the hacker made open-source. The million-dollar payout details for top Twitch streamers were also leaked.
Hacker breach could cost Twitch some major sources of income
"We can confirm a breach has taken place," read a tweet from Twitch confirming the hack as legitimate. "Our teams are working to understand the extent of this. We will update the community as soon as additional information is available. Thank you for bearing with us." A Fortnite streamer called "BBG Calc" said "The earnings list got my figure 100% correct," according to a BBC report on the breach. A different streamer also said the earnings listed in the leaked information were "accurate," and yet another person who spoke to BBC with close ties to a major influencer on the platform said the details included in the breach are "about right."
The documents detailing the sensitive financial information showed up on online forums with payment records stretching from August or September 2019 to October 2021, and some versions include streamers American Summit1g, Canadian xQC, the Dungeons & Dragons channel CriticalRole, and more. Twitch is renowned for its heavily-guarded operational mechanisms, and has touted the high-security features surrounding the figures paid to big-name streamers, which makes the breach especially sobering for the firm. And this leak comes while major rivals to Twitch in the media industry, like YouTube Gaming, are starting to offer colossal salaries for popular gaming streamers. In other words, this breach could cost Twitch some major sources of income.
Leaked information probably doesn't contain bottom-line profit for streamers
Beyond salary information, the leaked documents also appear to contain the actual source code of Twitch, along with technical details of forthcoming products and platforms. Security experts speaking with Cyber Reporter Joe Tidy of BBC said the files also include internal server data, that is meant exclusively for Twitch employees. If all of this information really got out, this would constitute one of the biggest data leaks ever seen from a single company, with its most highly prized, cherished, and tightly-guarded information completely exposed to the world with a single hack.
Luckily for the major streamers, the list of payments included in the leaked information probably doesn't contain sponsorship deals, or other off-platform transactions, including accounts for taxes paid from streamers' income. It's also likely that most of the top-tier streamers are effectively their own large-scale media organization, with employees and contractors and independent business expenses, which means the final adjusted income after footing the bill for a streamer's entire business is probably not really clear from the leaked list. Included in the breached data are folders of data named after crucial Twitch software, like "core config packages", "infosec" (information security), and "devtools" (developer tools). This by no means spells absolute doom for Twitch, but it could significantly impact the firm's business plans, future website design, and, most obviously, its system security infrastructure.
This was a breaking story and was regularly updated as new information became available.