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Twitch confirms data breach after hacker posts source code online

·2-min read

Streaming platform Twitch has confirmed it has been the victim of a data breach after an anonymous hacker posted key details of the site online, including its source code.

A message posted alongside the leaked files said they were being released to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space”.

The link, which was posted to messaging platform 4chan on Wednesday, claimed to contain details of the payouts made to top creators on the platform, code for its mobile, desktop and games console client apps, as well as a wide range of other internal software and business details.

The Amazon-owned platform has now confirmed a breach has taken place and said it was investigating the severity of the leak.

EGX 2016
Twitch is popular with gamers who use it to livestream while they are playing (PA)

“We can confirm a breach has taken place. Our teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this,” a Twitch spokesperson said.

“We will update the community as soon as additional information is available. Thank you for bearing with us.”

According to reports from Video Games Chronicle (VGC) and The Verge, the leaked data includes code that is as recent as this week, suggesting the hack could have taken place in recent days.

Reports suggest the leak does not include personal or password information on Twitch users, but some have noted the leak is labelled “part one”, suggesting further information obtained as part of the breach could still be released.

Online safety experts have urged anyone with a Twitch account to change their password as a precaution, with particular concern expressed for the accounts of the millions of younger users known to be on the platform.

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, said: “It has been reported today that the entirety of Twitch has been hacked, with its data now being leaked into the public domain.

“Whenever a hack takes place our sympathies go to those who have been compromised, and when the majority of those affected are children, the impact is amplified.

“Parents will be concerned, but there are a couple of actions that they can take that can help. Firstly, have a conversation with their child to establish if they have a Twitch account.

“If they do, and with immediate effect, ask them to change their password as a matter of urgency, using a combination of three unrelated words that are memorable, replacing some letters with numbers to enhance its security.

“If they can, also enable two-factor authentication. By doing this as quickly as possible it will ensure they are protecting themselves as best they can in light of the current situation.”

Twitch was founded in 2011 and is predominately used by creators to live stream themselves playing video games.

Amazon bought the site for 970 million US dollars (£714 million) in 2014, and the platform is estimated to have more than 140 million monthly active users.

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