Global streaming site Twitch, estimated to have approximately 1.3 million monthly active users in the UK alone, has allegedly been victim of a data breach after an anonymous hacker posted a link to a 128GB file said to contain high profile and sensitive data, including creator payouts since 2019 and Twitch source code.
As of March 2021, Twitch's monthly active users had grown 69% year-over-year with 9.36 million active streamers.
Video Games Chronicle first reported news of the Twitch leak on Wednesday morning after a post on web forum 4Chan saw a user claim to have hacked the mammoth streaming site and gained access to a wealth of Twitch data – including Twitch source code.
But has Twitch actually been hacked? And what company data has been leaked?
Here’s everything we know about the Twitch leak so far.
Has Twitch been hacked?
Reports of a Twitch hack have risen to the fore after an anonymous user on 4Chan posted information about an alleged hack on the forum on Wednesday.
The poster called the American streaming platform owned by Amazon a “disgusting toxic cesspool”, in what has since been interpreted as a possible reference to hate raids seeing trolls target people of colour, LGBTQI+ people and women streaming on the site with torrents of abuse and harassment.
Creators and streamers on the site have staged a number of blackouts and protests over the company’s alleged inaction on racial and misogynistic abuse on the platform.
The anonymous user went on to say that they had “completely pwned the site” and were leaking Twitch data in ‘part one’ of a data dump in the form of a 128GB torrent file online in order to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”
The post was signed off with “#DoBetterTwitch”.
Anonymous sources from within the company confirmed to several gaming and technology publications that the hack has indeed taken place, with Twitch later confirming that a data breach had occurred in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon.
A Twitch spokesperson said: "We can confirm a breach has taken place.
"Our teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this.
"We will update the community as soon as additional information is available.
"Thank you for bearing with us."
What Twitch data might have been leaked?
According to the anonymous poster on 4Chan, the hacked Twitch data includes company source code located in almost 6,000 of the company’s internal Git repositories.
Git is an open source software enabling developers to track changes to files in a certain online project, with git repositories containing the history of project changes over time in a .git/ folder.
The data leaked includes details of payments made to platform creators since 2019, revealing how much streamers on the site have made in the last three years.
But the leak also purports to disclose the entire history of twitch.tv and Git commit history “going back to its early beginnings”, information on Twitch clients across mobile, desktop and video games consoles, internal Amazon Web Services services used by Twitch and its proprietary Software Development Kits (SDKs).
Data also allegedly includes details of an unreleased competitor designed to rival video game streaming platform Steam developed by Amazon Game Studios.
How do I change my Twitch password?
Details about the Twitch hack and subsequent leak are still coming to light, but confirmation of leaked information online is leaving many users and creators fearing for the security of their accounts and data on the platform.
Twitch users can secure their accounts on the site by changing passwords and turning on two factor authentication.
To do this, go to settings on your profile, select the ‘Security and Privacy’ tab, then scroll down the page until you reach the ‘Security’ section.
This should give you two options of changing your password to strengthen your account security, as well as a ‘Set up Two-Factor Authentication’ button to add a further layer of security to your account – the button will say ‘Edit Two-Factor Authentication’ if you already have it switched on.